September 2012 home page

Mile Markers: 3 Up, 57 to Go
Jacqueline Winterer and Bill Farrell | Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley,
Photos Ann Gardner.


Friends Mile Markers Project Team: Bill Farrell (Technology),
Jacqueline Winterer (Vision), Maggie Brown (Design);
and Stu Smith (Trails). Photo Ann Gardner


On August 18th a happy crowd broke into smaller groups to inaugurate a new bilingual information system on the San Dieguito Coast to Crest Trail using their smart phones to read the first three of what will eventually be fifty-seven “mile markers.” Initiated, designed and funded partially by The Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, the project was carried out in cooperation with the San Dieguito River Park and with additional funding from the Conservancy.


River Park Ranger Natalie Borchardt tests the technology
Photo Ann Gardner

Park Ranger David Hekal with volunteers
Thomas Brown (left) and Rich Weier (right)
 installing the first mile marker. Photo courtesy
Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley.

Photo Ann Gardner

Photo Ann Gardner

The markers are three-foot tall posts embossed with QR (quick response) codes, the small square logos now seen more and more frequently. By passing the camera of a smart phone over the pattern, the hiker will see a web page with pertinent information. The pages will be created and maintained by the River Park staff using Google Earth to manage the cartography.

The project includes both one mile and half-mile markers. The first half-mile marker is located near the River Park entry monument on Jimmy Durante Boulevard across from the Del Mar Fire Station and will eventually take hikers just past the Zoo’s Safari Park in the San Pasqual valley, or 32 miles.

The purposes of the mile markers are many. Segments of the Trail are familiar to those who live nearby, less so to those who live farther away. Hikers will not only get valuable information but with the mileage number of any site, they will also get a sense of the relative location of the various trail features.

Public safety is another element. The trail is only thinly patrolled, and trail users in distress will be able to seek help from first responders by identifying the nearest mile marker On the 18th, the River Park added a surprise. There was so much information to impart about the lagoon restoration additional logos were added at every tenth mile between the first three mile markers. Take your smart phone along and give it a try!



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