Canyon Oak Trail is a fairly easy 1.65-mile-long loop nestled in William Heise County Park. Only two hours northeast of San Diego, it is a quiet and scenic escape from the bustle of city life. The trail is well maintained and has several benches at viewpoints overlooking the Cuyamaca Mountain Range. Although there is a net gain of 250 feet, the trail only has one steep stretch going up a switchback. The trail winds through meadows as well as forests of oak, pine, and cedar that provide ample shade. Mule deer and wild turkey are frequently seen from the trail, and bobcats and mountain lions are occasionally spotted. In spring a variety of wildflowers dot the landscape, including foothill penstemon, California poppy, California buckwheat, and toluca.
On your way home, make sure to stop by the nearby historic mining town of Julian. Just a few miles east on CA-79, it offers a glimpse into the region's rich past.