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Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

Rumoured​ to be the San Diego area's most haunted place, this mystic forest is popular with hikers


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Located near the neighbourhoods of Questhaven and Harmony Grove, Elfin Forest is always full of hikers. Some of them, however, share strange stories about cars breaking down unexpectedly or other bad things happening when they approach the Elfin Forest. With its curved trails, twisted trees and dark, quiet atmosphere the forest is indeed able to boost one's imagination. No wonder it's surrounded with tales about paranormal activity, like bleeding trees, or a ghost lady who wonders on the trails.

View of Escondido Creek 2020
View of Escondido Creek

It is rumoured that the area has been inhabited by "gypsies" in the early 19th century, and local residents decided to make them leave. In response, "gypsies" cursed the Elfin Forest.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve in San Diego - Best Season 2020

There are also stories of the San Dieguenos and Luisenos tribes haunting the forest. According to a local legend, the Elfin forest served as either a meeting ground or a burial ground for Native American tribes because it had special spiritual energy. Mortars, metates, pictographs, and petroglyphs were discovered here dating back to 9,000 years ago.

Inside the Elfin Forest's canopy 2020
Inside the Elfin Forest's canopy

Although the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is open all year, the best time to visit is between January and May when nature awakens, and fresh leaves and flowers greet the hikers.

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