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Happy Trails to You
Julie Maxey-Allison | 10th Street

Hiking the newly opened road.
Photo James Coffee Studios.
Click to enlarge.

New territory has opened up for walkers, runners and bikers. Our local segment of the Coast to Crest Trail, a part of the San Dieguito River Park completed in late 2017, is ready for travelers. The trail now runs through the area restored to wetlands in the San Diego Lagoon as it weaves its way east.

Our lagoon, essential for wildlife, is a nursery for fish, a home for resident birds, a stopover on the Pacific Flyway for migrating birds from Siberia to South America—more than 200 species of birds have been counted—and a safe place or pass-through for many animals. Outdoor advocate Henry David Thoreau’s words fit here: “At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom.”

The entrance to the trail, free to the public for day use, is on the east side of the Jimmy Durante Boulevard, across from the Fire Station. Paid parking for trail users is available at San Dieguito Dr. and Jimmy Durante Blvd (NE corner). For hikers, the trail is flat, a comfortable hike for families. Dogs on leash are welcome. For bikers, Mayor Dwight Worden reports: “The trail goes under I-5 and you can ride all the way to El Camino Real, behind Horse Park. It is also a good way to get to the shopping areas without having to use Via De La Valle. You can take the trail all the way from Jimmy Durante by the river to the markets without cars!” The trail is open to equestrians too, but only east of the I-5 where it continues on it way toward Volcan Mountain.

Currently the Coast to Crest Trail consists of a series of 45 miles of non-contiguous sections of the planned 71 mile route to Volcan Mountain, just north of Julian, the origin of the San Dieguito River. It has been in the works for more than 30 years. In 1989 The San Dieguito River Park JPA was formed as a separate agency. Members include the County of San Diego and the Cities of Del Mar, Escondido, Poway, San Diego, and Solana Beach. The goal is to provide “a continuous and coordinated system of preserved lands with a connecting corridor of walking, equestrian, and bicycle trails, encompassing the San Dieguito River Valley from the ocean to the river’s source.”

While there is more to come, we can enjoy “comparative freedom,” right now. For more information: www.sdrp.org.


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