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Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

The perfect metro-area trail: close, wild, uncrowded. Here are 10 major city options.

Phoenix | San Diego | San Francisco | Boston | New York | Philadelphia | Chicago | Seattle | Los Angeles | Austin

San Diego, CA
See SoCal the way it was.

Think this city by the sea is all beach? Think again. According to the Trust for Public Land, it has one of the highest park-land-per-capita rates in the country (36.2 acres per 1,000 residents). It’s easy to find your slice. In town: Balboa Park’s Trail #5 makes a 6.6-mile loop that passes through Palm Canyon, an oasis fed by an underground stream ( Close to town: Climb San Diego’s 1,591-foot high point on the Cowles Mountain Trail (three miles round-trip). It’s in Mission Trails Park, eight miles northeast of town.

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