Carlsbad in bloom
Nourished by winter rains, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in San Diego County have begun to bloom. The peak at the 52-acre property is expected from late this month to the middle of next when more than 100 varieties of ranunculus, orchid, poinsettia, anemone, rose and other buds will carpet the rolling hills. The Flower Fields, 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, are open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week until May 10. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for children. Parking is free. Info: http://www.theflowerfields.com.
Finding rails to trails
Want to know how to take the Mount Lowe Railroad Trail to the summit of Mt. Lowe overlooking the San Gabriel Valley? The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that works to turn abandoned railroad paths into hiking and biking trails, has partnered with Google to include its database of more than 15,000 miles of multipurpose trails on Google Maps. The partnership now creates an online maping site that provides both street directions and recreation trail information. You can visit Google Maps (maps.google.com), type in a location and a destination and find driving directions or a biking or hiking route.