Self-Guided Tour/Dog Walk for Tree Lovers, Like Me!
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I have a great nose for the many opportunities in Balboa Park for combining cultural exploration with exercise. One scenic tour I have yet to mention, however, is the Kate Sessions Self-Guided Tour (a.k.a. Dog Walk).
It all begins at the Balboa Park Visitors Center where you pick up a free brochure that includes a map and description of all the points of interest along the way. These points are numbered and correspond with numbered sniffing-posts, er, um, signposts on the route.
With brochure in hand, start your journey at the Kate Sessions Statue in Sefton Plaza, near the corner of El Prado and Balboa Drive. Kate Sessions is known as the “Mother of Balboa Park,” and many of the trees she planted around the turn of the 20th century can still be seen on this tour of the Park’s northwest mesa. In fact, it’s this tour’s emphasis on these very trees, including a lovely Canary Island pine, a parrot’s beak coral, a massive cork oak, and a San Jose Hesper Palm tree, that make it especially memorable for me (as you can imagine).
The tour heads north to Upas Street before winding its way back toward the Cabrillo Bridge. The 1.6 mile route is an ideal trek for bipeds and quadrupeds alike, that is, provided you complete the tour by visiting Nate’s Point Dog Park, which by some oversight didn’t make it into the brochure.