It may be called Black Friday, but the county wants you to go green. If you don't want to fight the crowds on Black Friday, you can enjoy a park at your own pace. County Parks and Recreation has declared Friday, November 23 "Green Friday" to prompt families and friends to spend more quality time together outside on the day after Thanksgiving.
Take a hike, tour a canyon, meet an animal ambassador – it’s all possible at parks on Green Friday. County parks have more than 350 miles of trails where people can hike, bike, ride a horse, sight-see and picnic. There are more than 100 locations to choose from.
Here are five great ways to celebrate the day:
1. Visit a Park for Free
Parking fees will be waived at all County parks and preserves on Friday. Plus, Lyft is offering a free ride up to $10 to the four park destinations with Green Friday activities below. Use code GREENFRIDAY under “Promos” when you book.
2. Hike Off the Turkey and Pie at Wilderness Gardens County Preserve
Join a park ranger for a 4-mile guided hike at 9 a.m. You’ll be rewarded with views of Pauma Valley, Palomar Mountain and the San Luis Rey River. Learn about local plants and animals while exploring historic sites that tell the story of our region’s earliest settlers.
3. Explore The Canyon with a Ranger at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch County Preserve
Join a ranger on a tour of Sycamore Canyon at 9 a.m. This popular trail system features an abundance of local wildlife. Look up to see hawks, yellow-rumped warblers and white-crowned sparrows. Look down to see lizards, insects and if you’re lucky, a snake! Round-trip, this relatively easy hike is just 2 miles, so you’ll have ample time to continue on to the visitor center. Meet at the Goodan Ranch Staging Area at 16281 Sycamore Canyon Road, Poway.
4. Plant a Tree and Volunteer at Felicita County Park
Plant a tree you can revisit and watch grow for years to come. Volunteers will also be beautifying the creek bed with general maintenance and trash clean-up. Bring work gloves, sturdy shoes and plan to get a little dirty. This event runs 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
5. Meet Animal Ambassadors at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park
Head south to Bonita and spend a day at Sweetwater. Hike the trails, picnic near the playground, explore the amphitheater and then head to the ranger station from 2 to 3 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with real-live animal ambassadors like snakes and lizards. You’ll also be able to touch animal skins and pelts while learning all about local wildlife.
Photo Credit: KOGO News/ S.Bartlett