Google Maps, Hiking-friends, Normal Heights, Normal Heights Pet Kingdom

Mapping Mini-Parks

A few years ago, Google got me hooked on its Maps program. I’m a bit of an avid hiker you see, and one evening, while planning my route along a trail I hoped to be on the next day, I noticed a business of some sort located in the middle of the wide expanse of open space park.  Researching the matter, my suspicion that no business could exist in such a place was confirmed and I proceeded to “suggest an edit” to Google Maps.

Google Maps congratulates Normal Heights Blogger for having 4.5 million views
I might have submitted a thing or two to Google Maps.

Two years later and I’m a maxed-out Level 5 Local Guide with Google and have over 5 million content views on Maps alone. I’ve submitted so much to Google Maps in fact that my data storage is essentially free.  It’s nice, believe me. I don’t just use Google Maps for hiking either. Taking advantage of its “find missing information” feature, I’m able to source leads for work too.  Ever wonder how many businesses there are in Normal Heights without websites?
This many:

Normal Heights has lots of business' without websites according to Google Maps.

Google Maps is the gift that keeps on giving.


So when I move to a new neighborhood, you can understand why the first thing I might do is to map it out. Normal Heights sits atop a plateau, the northern end of which drops steeply into Mission Valley. This feature makes it far and away the most ideal region in the neighborhood to search  for hidden hiking trails. One spot in particular came to my attention early on: the northwest corner of the plateau just above the 805 Freeway. Upon that corner appeared to be a small clearing, accessible via the terminus of the Kenmore Terrace cul-de-sac.

Curious about this little clearing I set off with TaTa, our rescue dog to discover its contents and more importantly to see if there might be a cliff-hugging trail that could take the Tater-Tot and I around the entire length of the northern face itself.

Google Maps Satellite imagery of Normal Heights.
Interesting little nook and clearing just north of the Valero Gas Station.

Although I am confident that such a trail exists, it has thus-far proven elusive.  However, the clearing turned out be a wonderful little park that had somehow completely escaped Google Maps attention.  This is extraordinarily rare.  City, County, and municipal locations tend to show up on Google Maps more accurately than other things. That this little park remained un-mapped was incredible.


Kenmore Terrace Mini-Park

I had stumbled onto Kenmore Terrace Mini Park, undoubtedly the quaintest park I’ve ever seen.  I had no idea “mini-parks” were an actual thing up that point come to think of it.  But as it turns out: they most certainly are things. They’re precisely the sorts of things you find in a place like Normal Heights.  The park itself can’t be larger than 1/5 of an acre, but it’s well maintained, has two little benches, and that species of Palm tree that grows incredibly fat.

As you can imagine I made an edit to Google Maps so if you look for it now, you will find Kenmore Terrace Mini-Park in its proper location on the omnipresent map program.  TaTa and I hit up the little park on at least once a week. I daresay she enjoys it most particularly and outside of her favorite doggy snack shop Kenmore Terrace might be her favorite walking destination. One notable point is the existence of a plaque that reads “Frazer Park 1993.”  I have yet to discover who or what this elusive marker signifies, whether there was a person named Frazer Park, the park was named after  “so-and-so Frazer,” or what.   But I am curious about it and if anyone happens to know more about the origin of this plaque, please don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments section.


Several Benches line the way to Kenmore Terrace Mini-Park
Kenmore Terrace Mini-Park
Municipal signs show Kenmore Terrace Mini Park is maintained by the City.
This little Normal Heights Mini-park is apparently maintained by the City.
A quaint little Park in Normal Heights.
Kenmore Terrace or Frazer Park in Normal Heights
A small plaque reads "Frazer Park"
Frazer Park? This small plaque is iset into Kenmore Terrace Mini-Park.



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