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Ask a Question ... Get a Bag 
April 2009 | Bertha Leone, Crest

The boardwalk and coastal trail along the San Dieguito lagoon has been on my “must do” list since I read about it in the last Sandpiper issue. Following the directions on the San Dieguito River Park website, which took me past the Del Mar Racetrack and Jimmy Durante Blvd, I could see the boardwalk in the distance. The problem was that I couldn’t find where the trail started, and there didn’t seem to be a place where parking was allowed.

1. The Jimmy Durante Bridge where it crosses the San Dieguito River; 2. The Public Works department; 3. Del Mar Blue; 4. The fire station. 5. The start of the Boardwalk; 6. The Boardwalk.
Map: © Google.

“How do I get to it? Where do I park?” were the questions I posed to Ann Gardner, a member of the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley board. She invited me to join her and other Friends one Friday afternoon in March to experience the boardwalk and trail first hand as part of a lagoon and boardwalk cleanup.

Thus it was that my husband Robert and I joined Ann, Stu Smith, Maggie Brown and Jacqueline Winterer, all FSDRV Board members, at the western entrance to the trail, which I now know is hidden behind the “No Pedestrian Crossing” sign (#5 on map) at the north end on the east side of the Jimmy Durante bridge. We parked in the Public Works Department lot across the street (permitted on weekends and after 4:30pm on weekdays). After a few introductions, Stu handed us a large bag and off we went.
We spent a little over an hour (six hours of people time). In addition to many plastic bags and pieces thereof, we collected beer bottles, an empty bottle of pineapple-flavored Puerto Rican rum, some golf balls, several unpaired beach flip flops and shovels, and even an almost-new plastic hub cap cover. The prize went to Maggie, who discovered a deflated lime green pool raft alongside a wooden pallet. Under the pallet, empty water bottles had been attached with silver electrical tape to create a pontoon. “Was the raft made by youngsters playing Huck Finn or boat people slipping ashore after dark?” we conjectured.

As we chatted and exercised (walk, bend, walk, squat…), Stu explained, “last fall the San Dieguito River Park staff issued a call for volunteers to ‘adopt’ sections of the Coast-to-Crest Trail. Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, rotating with two other groups, clean up the Boardwalk and trail east to I-5, at about monthly intervals.”
In the distance we could see a lone egret in the midst of yellow, pink and orange wildflowers and masses of green foliage. It was an hour well spent – good company, good cause, good exercise – and exhilarating natural beauty.

Why not take some time to explore the trail? Come for the experience only, or, if you feel like it, bring a bag.



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