I just wanted to post this for all my friends who hike around the San Diego County area near Cuyamaca or Heise Park. The Kelly Ditch Trail, which spans about six miles from Heise Park to Lake Cuyamaca is in terrible shape. If you are planning a hike all the way to each end, you will probably not be successful. The trail is completely overgrown and blocked about mid-way. In fact, about a half mile to a mile past the Heise Park/Cuyamaca Park boundary (on the Cuyamaca side), the trail completely disappears. I spent a lot of time pushing my way through brush and eventually, it just got too tough and I couldn't see the trail at all. Also, not being able to see my feet made it easy for me to stumble and I eventually twisted my ankle three times while hiking back down. I also got a couple of ticks on me from climbing through the brush.
Forget going all the way through if you have a horse, too. There are a lot of fallen logs that make it difficult to pass, even if you have a good jumper. I did see a couple horseback riders near Heise Park that were heading out towards Cuyamaca. They said they were aware of the overgrowth, but I still wonder if and how they got through. I didn't see any hoof marks past the Heise Park boundary. Come to think about it, I didn't see any human footprints, either, other than mine.
This trail has always been a little difficult when it comes to overgrowth and fallen logs, but it is worse than ever. It's possible that it might be due to its long closure after the fires, a lack of interest in hiking the trail. I have already written the park people to ask about this. I would be willing to help clear the trail if I were given the tools to do so.
This photo of the undergrowth is mild compared to what was happening up ahead on this trail.