The sporting world has come to a halt and for an appropriate reason. But the national emergency has also supplied an excuse to tell someone to go take a hike.
In a good way, mind you, and we can all absorb some positive vibes as we combat the coronavirus. The battle to lessen its reach is real, as is the need to adjust our lives.
By being blessed to live in North County, we have access to countless hiking trails and the great outdoors. Being outside could serve as a tonic to being isolated, if the proper precautions are taken.
We’re mindful that elderly citizens and those with health issues should stay indoors. And if able to venture out, the social distance requirement of six feet is to be observed.
But if possible to find your way to a dirt path, the rewards are plentiful. Here are three suggestions to give your body and soul a respite from the coronavirus coverage.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
The king of hiking heaven in the North County boasting of an estimated 1,500 acres just south of the Del Mar border, remains the go-to for many.
While recent rains have caused some trails to close occasionally, and the area around Flat Rock point is compromised, the paved road leading up into the reserve remains open.
There are six trails total, with Guy Fleming to the north and Parry Grove to the south among the favorites. The Guy Fleming, a two-thirds of a mile loop, delivers an ocean view which is keen, especially with the whales migrating south, not far off the coast.
Parry Grove, a half-mile loop, is more a secluded, woodsy walk. Like the Guy Fleming, it’s not a strenuous hike.
Cardiff State Beach
This slice of sand is grand, especially if you’re cooped up with a mutt. Dogs, on leashes, are welcome as a hike here will have your toes in the sand and the soothing sound of the ocean negating the need for ear buds.
Numerous man’s (and woman’s) best friends are active, too, as it’s the only stretch of sand in a San Diego County State Park that is dog-friendly. The leash law, though, is strongly enforced.
The walk comes with spotting surfers, ranging from a wave icon like Rob Machado, to teenagers earning their stripes. They’re dipping in the water with a view of La Jolla cove toward the south.
When walking north along the tide line toward San Elijo Lagoon, the horizon is filled with Swami’s surf spot, and on a clear day, Saddleback Mountain in Orange County.
Double Peak Park
Head inland for this one and while you won’t be at the ocean, the view of it arrives from climbing this San Marcos summit.
Double Peak Park fills 230 acres on the land which separates the community of San Elijo Hills and Cal State University of San Marcos and its neighborhoods. The summit of more than 1,000 feet has vistas of the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego and snow-capped mountain ranges to the north and east.
Various trails peel off from the top, an area which includes picnic tables and a periscope. Among the more popular challenges is the nearly 3-mile Discovery Lake Park trail, which like many at Double Peak, are moderately strenuous.
But there are also pathways that are less demanding, depending on one’s preference for scaling inclines.
Any walk is a good walk, and these days, we’re looking for good news around every bend.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports