Sadly this trail is not like what it looks like in these photos anymore. In fact, I may have to add it to my lost history section at this point due to how much death has occurred of these beautiful redwood trees. How did they survive for so many years up until this point? They seemed to be thriving in even 2013! I am lost.
The Bridle Trail really came as a surprise to me the first time I stumbled upon it around 2010. Basically being located in the heart of the city, one would not expect to fall upon a grove of redwood trees in Balboa Park!
These trees are said to have been planted during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. I have loved this trail for so many reasons: the tranquility, unique beauty to San Diego, the flower fields in the springtime, fresh air. It all evokes clarity and peace of mind.
Unfortunately over the years the Bridle Trail has changed significantly. Redwood trees were never meant to live in a desert climate and I’m surprised they survived as long as they did. At this point most of trees have either died and were chopped down, or are dying. It’s been a very hard thing to watch.
I would not recommend hiking this trail alone as you will occasionally come across a suspicious person or two. The canyons of Balboa are notorious for lewd activities, such as sexual assaults and drugs.
The hike is actually right along the freeway much of the time:
One day there was a bird here that I swear escaped from the zoo which is right next door!