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Lakeside Linkage Preserve is a small preserve with one signed trail, approximately 1.3 miles long, that leads to an interesting destination, the Whitaker House.
Leashed dogs are allowed. There are no signs forbidding mountain bikes, but parts of the trail are too steep and rough for bike riding.
The official Lakeside Linkage Preserve Trail Map is inaccurate in some respects. Trail signs are sufficient to keep you on the trail, except at one place noted below.
I started at the signed trailhead on the East side of Los Coches Rd., north of Ha-Hana Rd. and nearly opposite Los Coches Ct. (Thomas 1236 C6). Users of mapping services such as Mapquest will want to aim for Los Coches Rd. & Los Coches Ct.
The trail crosses a level field and then turns south to go up a hillside. Near the top of the hill is what looks like a mountain bike play area.
The trail emerges on what looks like a north-south dirt road, which is apparently an access road for some power lines. The dirt road runs south as far as Ha-Hana Rd., meeting it just west of Manajo Rd. I didn't hike this part, but I could see it from the trail. There is a signed trailhead on Manajo Rd. where it turns east.
The trail follows the dirt road north a short distance and then turns west to go up to what is probably the highest part of the trail. It has some good views (although the very best are at the end of the trail).
The trail then descends to a saddle and runs along the saddle to another hill. It descends the second hill and meets the Whitaker House access road at a signed trailhead.
There are not enough signs at this trailhead, and the official map is inaccurate from this point on. The most obvious continuation goes due west, down the side of a canyon to West Rim Rd. Actually, West Rim Rd. is a better place to enter the Preserve if you want to directly to the Whitaker House. I walked all the way to Los Coches Rd. and back.
You could walk up the access road to the Whitaker House, but there is more scenic route. Follow a trail that runs just west of the access road. It leads to the Whitaker House, which is at the top of the hill.
There isn't much of a house at the Whitaker House. There are a ranger station, a caretaker's trailer, and a heap of stone and concrete with the word "Whitaker" on its side. I presume this heap is the remains of the Whitaker House. There's a stairway up to the top of the heap.
The north side of the ranger station offers a magnificent view of Lindo Lake and downtown Lakeside.
The typical visitor will follow the trail back to the starting point. I chose to walk down the access road instead. Somewhere along the way, it became Castle Court Dr. and came out on Los Coches Rd. I turned left and followed Los Coches Rd. back to the starting point.
Transcript of survey.
Data plotted on topo.
Data plotted on Thomas Guide.
Philip J. Erdelsky