742 Clarence Ln.
Escondido, CA 92029
Phone: (760) 745-4379
Hike: there are many trails on this property Levels: Easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
Open daily, 9:30 a.m.–Sunset (Closed on Christmas Day)
Parking Fee: $3.00 per vehicle collected at the entry gate.
Felicita Park is the site of one of the largest and oldest Indian villages in the county. To this day, grinding holes and other artifacts reveal evidence of the centuries-old community of the Northern Diegueno Indians.
In 1867, an Irishman by the name of James McCoy acquired the Bernardo Rancho which included a portion of what is now Felicita Park. His large flocks of sheep ranged over this land called McCoy’s Grove. In 1871, Mr. McCoy was elected to the State Senate and played a prominent role until his death in 1895. The property, later owned by Ransford Lewis, was purchased as a county park for the sum of $12,000 in December 1929.
The park was named after a Kumeyaay woman, Felicita La Chappa, who lived in the San Pasqual Valley until she died in 1916. Her Kumeyaay name was Hal-ah-wee, and she was the daughter of a clan leader named Pontho. Benjamin Sherman wrote a romanticized book, Indian Stories of the Southwest, that was performed at the Felicita Pageant in the park from 1928-1931.
53 acres of dense oak groves
2 horseshoe pits
Picnic tables / barbecues
1 volleyball court
Personal Experience: Felicita Park has always been one of my favorite parks. Perhaps because it is not your traditional park (in my opinion). There are is much grounds to wander around and just get lost in. It’s always had a bit of a magical feel to it. The Renaissance Faire is held here. I will attend it in the future and then make a post on that. A Ship in the Woods recently moved its residency here. How cool is that?!