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Nature trails have been a popular place for people to visit and explore for years. While they were once the preserve of hikers, more and more people are discovering the nature trail as a great place to walk their dog, work off some of that extra holiday food and have some fun in the fresh air. And, if you are looking for the best trails around, then Annie’s Canyon Trail is a great place to start. If you are ever in the Encinitas, CA area, then be sure to check it out, a moderate-to-difficult 10-mile hike along the coast. You’ll get a great workout as you cross through chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and coastal dunes while passing through 4 microclimates. As you hike, you can also enjoy views of the coast and the wide-open ocean waters. As you make your way through the canyon you will see sandstone cliffs and boulders, and the trail offers scenic views of the San Elijo Lagoon, Cardiff by the Sea, and Solana Beach. This flat section is a great place for children to get some energy out, and it also has some great views of the canyon. A short distance up the trail you turn off to the left and follow a relatively flat trail through a grassy field. 

The trail starts at the top of the canyon and runs down to the beach, where you can enjoy the surf and sand. There are a few tricky spots, however, including a narrow ledge that requires trailhead scrambling and a steep climb with ropes. Turn back if you have any doubts about your ability to complete the trial in its entirety unassisted. It is also a full-day hike, so make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before. Save the energy snacks for the hike—you’ll need them to keep up with the group! And make sure to check the weather to ensure you’re dressed appropriately.

 The trail is exposed with limited shade, so if it’s a hot day, be sure to bring lots of water. If it’s a particularly hot day, sunglasses and sunscreen are also a great idea.

Hikers, backpackers, and campers have long known the serenity and beauty of this scenic canyon trail. It’s a place that seems untouched by human hands, even though it’s not far from the city. The trail is easy to follow for the most part, but there are a few tricky spots, so it’s a good idea to bring along a GPS device if you don’t want to get lost. The trail can be accessed via the Bear Gulch entrance, but even though the drive is a little longer, you’ll get to see the canyon up close and personal as you approach from the west. The trail of Annie’s Canyon Trail begins with a steep descent down a fire road, which is a good warm-up for the work out ahead. It soon crosses a creek, and you can choose to cross the creek and continue walking along the river, or you can turn back and follow the trail at a lower elevation.