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green Coast to Crest Trail: San Dieguito Lagoon

Trail

2.3 mile 3.8 kilometer point to point
100% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 18' 5 m
Descent: -22' -7 m
High: 26' 8 m
Low: 10' 3 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (1°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Matthew Kidd

A necessary but noisy conclusion to the Coast to Crest Trail that offers birders some joy.

Matthew Kidd

Features Birding · River/Creek

Description

This trail is part of a grand idea, but one still incompletely realized, the 70 mile Coast to Crest Trail to Volcan Mountain, the source of the San Dieguito River. To achieve connectivity some sub-par sections are inevitable and this is one of them. This section is marred by incessant I-5 freeway noise which drowns out the bird calls along all but the easternmost section of the trail. Immediately east of I-5, the trail parallels a shopping center, offering a view of signs for a gas station, a McDonalds, and a grocery store. West of I-5 offers bleak views of the endless parking for the Del Mar fairgrounds across the Jimmy Durante Blvd "speedway". Moreover ongoing trail and environmental restoration work on the west side further limit the appeal.

Still during the spring when the wetlands are wettest and the mustard is in bloom, this becomes a 2-star trail. Birders will consider it at least 2-stars all year due to a large variety of visiting birds that the land manager has been tallying month by month since 2010.

The lagoon is a huge win for wildlife even if disappointing to the runner. It is now called the Peter Douglas Wetlands, in honor of Peter Douglas (1942–2012), a coastal environmental advocate who led a successful grass roots effort in 1972 that resulted in the creation of the California Coastal Commission, on which he served as executive director from 1985–2011. The San Dieguito lagoon restoration itself was partly funded by Southern California Edison as part of a 2005 settlement with the California Coastal Commission to offset the adverse impact on marine life from the water-cooling system for the San Onofre Nuclear Plant along the coast. Peter Douglas shepherded the restoration process.

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#3

in San Diego

#18376

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#3

in San Diego

#2,095

in California

#18,376

Overall
28 Views Last Month
2,699 Since May 2, 2017
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