Browsed by
Tag: Stowe

Stowe Trail Permit

Stowe Trail Permit

We have finally located where you need to go to get a permit to use the Stowe Trail.  Permits are only good for one year and everyone over the age of 10 must have one for walking, hiking, horseback riding, and biking.

Stowe Trail Permit will take you to the webpage set up by the Marines.

Here are some Q&A’s regarding the use of the trail.

Q1. What is the age required to obtain a permit?

A1. All U.S. citizens, 10 years of age and older, must obtain a permit in order to access Stowe Trail.  Approval of permits will depend on the results of background checks for adults and the completion of appropriate paperwork by all applicants.  Permit holders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult permit holder.  Children under the age of 10 may access Stowe Trail with a permit-holding parent or legal guardian provided that the permit holder has a signed liability waiver on file for each child.

Q2. What will occur if someone accesses the trail without a permit?

A2. Persons who access Stowe Trail without a permit may be subject to citations, fines, and any other punitive measure as determined by the U.S. District Court. Specifically, these persons may be subject to a $500 fine and confiscation of property.

Q3. What are the ramifications of going off the trail?

A3. Persons who trespass onto trails other than Stowe Trail, and all persons who lack a permit, may be subject to citations and any other punitive measure as determined by the U.S. District Court. These persons may be subject to a $500 fine, confiscation of property, and loss of permit.

Q4. How do I know the boundaries of the trail?

A4. There are signs along the trail to ensure permit holders stay within the boundaries of the trail.

Q5. What is the helmet policy?

A5. Helmets are required while riding a bicycle aboard all U.S. Marine Corps installations.

Q6. Am I allowed to ride a motorized vehicle on the trail?

A6. No, motorized vehicles are prohibited from using Stowe Trail.

Q7. What forms of transportation are authorized on the trail?

A7. Activity while on the trail is restricted to recreational bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding; no intentional delay or other unauthorized activity is permitted.

Q8. Are there canine restrictions?

A8. Full or mixed breeds of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, canid/wolf hybrids, and any other canine breed with dominant traits of aggression, present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of personnel on Marine Corps installations and are prohibited.

Q9. Can my permit be revoked?

A9. Any disruptive, disorderly or illegal conduct may result in the permanent revocation of trail privileges and be subject to enforcement by law enforcement officials and prosecution under U.S. code.

Q10. Are items prohibited from being on the trail?

A10. Prohibited items include firearms, knives, replica or toy weapons, pepper spray, mace, stun guns, martial arts weapons, or other weapons of any kind (regardless of permit);  alcoholic beverages; drones (i.e. quad or hex copters); lasers or laser pointers;  and federally-banned substances such as illicit narcotics and marijuana.  State laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana are NOT recognized aboard MCAS Miramar, including Stowe Trail.

Q11. Are trail improvements and maintenance allowed?

A11. Any modification or other “improvement” of the trail is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized by the commanding officer of MCAS Miramar.

Searching for Stowe – a video presentation by Carol Crafts

Searching for Stowe – a video presentation by Carol Crafts


Hello, my name is Carol Crafts and I am a docent for the Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserves and the author of Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon: A History of the Land: Then and Now.

I became involved with the Goodan Ranch when I met a granddaughter of the Goodan Family, through a program we were both involved in. While researching the history of the area for docents at the Preserve, I became fascinated by the township of Stowe.

Stowe was located at the top of Sycamore Canyon.   In the 1880s, families began settling in the area southeast of Poway and north of Santee along a well traveled route used by farmers taking produce to El Cajon as well as the train stops in Foster and Santee.  This route was recognized in 2003 as the Stowe Millennium Trail.   Homesteaders in Sycamore Canyon hoped to see the railroad go through Poway and connect them to the surrounding areas.

In 1884 families began to file homestead claims at land offices in Los Angles, which meant that they had already been living on the land for several years.   In 1889 a post office opened in Stowe receiving mail twice weekly.  By 1903 the office had 32 patrons.

1890 saw the opening of a school at the top of the canyon for the homesteader’s children.  The school originally served the children of eight families in the area.   By 1903 the Stowe school was closed and students went to either the Poway or Santee school districts.   The school house was sold for $25 and the wood was used to build another dwelling.   1905 saw the post office close as well.   While the town of Stowe remained on Triple A maps of the area until 1914, it was quickly dwindling away as families moved on.

Why did this town, which seemed so promising just a few years before, disappear so quickly?   After years of researching, I believe that the disappearance of Stowe is related to several different factors which came together to make Stowe a difficult place to live.   The railroad spur which had been planned to go through Poway, Stowe, and Ramona was canceled in 1896 leaving Stowe isolated and hard to reach.   This time period also saw some extreme weather in the area with alterations between torrential rains and drought making farming a difficult endeavor.   The twin challenges of uncertain weather and difficult transportation made Stowe a less than ideal place to live and many families from the Stowe area saw children marry and move into either Poway or Santee. Charlie Bottroff, son of the Stowe Post Master and Post Mistress, married Josie Fischer, daughter of the former Stowe Postmistress, and moved to Santee as a blacksmith. Other children moved to Poway or Escondido.

In the 1930’s, the Goodan family bought most of the Stowe land to add to their ranch.   Today the Goodan Ranch and surrounding area are jointly managed by the cities of Poway, Santee and the California Department of Fish and Game and is known as Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Spaces Preserves.   The Preserves contain more than 10 miles of hiking trails and allows horseback riding and bicycling. They are also home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. If you enjoy hiking, biking, or riding and are interested in San Diego County’s natural habitat please come and visit the preserves.  For more historical information about the township of Stowe or the Goodan Ranch, please visit the San Diego Historical Society, the Poway Historical Society, the Santee Historical Society, the Lakeside Historical Society Archives, or the El Cajon Historical Society. These wonderful institutions have made my own research into Stowe possible and hold the history of San Diego for those who care to look.

Benjamin Franklin Kirkham – Poway, CA & a Town Called Stowe

Benjamin Franklin Kirkham – Poway, CA & a Town Called Stowe

A story of Stowe and the family of Benjamin Franklin Kirkham

What’s In A Name? A Lot of History

If you’re driving around the industrial area of Poway, you’re liable to cross Stowe Road. You might also encounter Kirkham Court, Kirkham Road and Kirkham Way. These roads wind above  and around Beeler and Sycamore Canyons. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries these canyons held a little community called Stowe.

Stowe had its own post office from 1889 to 1905 and its own school from 1890 to 1903.

The 1897 Directory of San Diego City and County lists 71 separate towns, with brief descriptions of each and the names of selected residents. Some of the town names are recognizable to us today, such as Chula Vista and Escondido. Others are communities that no longer exist, and haven’t for decades, like Almond, Bostonia, and Stowe. I refer to these places as “the lost towns of San Diego County.”

The 1897 listing for Stowe had this brief description: “Stowe is a farming section, about 23 miles from San Diego and six miles from Poway, on the road from Poway to El Cajon valley.”

That description was followed by the names of 14 residents and their occupations. Eleven of them were men, all farmers. Three were women: two schoolteachers and one postmistress.

Among the farmers was B.F. Kirkham.

Benjamin Franklin Kirkham came to California from Colorado in 1891 with his wife Fredericka Kirkham and four sons, 10-year-old Frank Kirkham, 7-year-old twins Isaac and Andrew Kirkham, and 4-year-old Fred Kirkham.

Benjamin’s son Andrew grew up to be a hard working farmer, but he was also an amateur historian and writer as well. When he died in November 1964 at the age of 80, an obituary in the Poway News stated that he “kept notebooks crammed with data and humorous anecdotes about Valley goings-on.”

A few years before his death Andrew summarized the information in his notebooks and put it into manuscripts which are now in the archives of the Poway Historical and Memorial Society’s museum. These manuscripts provide a wealth of detail about the Kirkham family and their lives in Stowe and the broader community of Poway into which Stowe was eventually absorbed.

Here’s an undated photo of Andrew Kirkham at work, courtesy of the Poway Historical Museum archives. Andy is on the left:

benjamin franklin kirkham