Who says you have to go to the beach for some aquatic fun? Originally constructed as a reservoir, the 16-acre Chollas Lake area was turned over to the San Diego Parks and Recreation in the mid-1960s. Now, it’s a fun and free spot to take your children for a lake exploration adventure.
The park features a .8 mile loop surrounding the lake—perfect for bike rides and walks. A majority of the dirt path is shaded by surrounding Eucalyptus trees, so you can stay cool even while getting a little exercise. Along the path are four playgrounds, each with different structures (including a huge Viking ship!) and play areas.
Chollas Lake Park also hosts several events and seasonal activities such as nature walks and educational programs for kids, and live examples of local wildlife. If your child is between the ages of 5 and 16, then they are eligible to participate in one of the free “Fishing Derbies.” Fishing poles are limited, so be sure to get to the registration area early! Otherwise, follow your child down by the lake shore to look for ducks, turtles and other creatures.
This San Diego treasure is also a great place for a picnic, as there are several picnic benches and barbeque grills for use. (Forget any picnic supplies? There’s a nearby Target located in Lemon Grove off the 94 freeway). The basketball courts and multi-purpose ball field north of the lake are also great places to play.
So instead of going to the beach this summer and getting sand in your shorts, bring your hiking boots and binoculars to explore the lake at Chollas Lake Park.
Chollas Lake Park
6350 College Grove Drive
San Diego, Ca 92115
Chollas Lake Park is open daily from 6:30 am until 30 minutes before sunset. North Chollas Canyon closes 1 hour before sunset.