San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Map of TRACK Trail at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve TRACK Trail is an ADA accessible, ¾ mile double-loop trail. It meanders through chaparral, salt marsh, and riparian woodland habitat abundant with plant and animal life.

Not only is this 1,000 acre Reserve one of the few remaining coastal wetlands, it is also home to an exceptional number of plants and animals, many of which are listed as sensitive or endangered.  Additionally, the lagoon serves as an important resting spot for the many migratory birds that travel thousands of miles along the Pacific Flyway. The LEED-platinum Nature Center boasts many “green” features as well as interpretive displays and an observation deck. Additional partners for this TRACK trail include Jimbo’s . . . Naturally! Natural Foods Grocer and San Diego County Parks Society.

The County of San Diego, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, and State of California together manage the resources of San Elijo Lagoon.

For more information visit:

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve 

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center 

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy 

Track an adventure here
Collectible sticker for San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Location Details

Recreational Features: Picnic Tables, Interpretive Programs, Birding
Amenities: Restrooms, Nature Center, Visitor Center
ADA Compliant: Yes
Seasonality:
Observation deck overlooking the lagoon
Kid spotting birds with binoculars
Clapper Rail stalking through the wetlands
Kids hiking along the trail
Snowy Egret wading in the shallows
Visitor Center at San Elijo
Kids wearing bug masks
Aerial view of the lagoon

Adventures for San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Animal Athletes brochure
Hiking

San Elijo: Animal Athletes

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Animal Athletes adventure challenges kids to exercise with the animals. This brochure gives kids eight different animal exercises they can do along the trail. From hummingbird hand-swings to lizard pushups, kids are sure to have fun getting in shape with the animals during their outdoor adventures.
Birds of San Elijo brochure
Hiking

San Elijo: Birds

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Birds of San Elijo Lagoon brochure shows kids where to look for different birds along the trail. The brochure contains illustrations of some of the more common birds found at the Reserve and information on how to identify them through various clues.
Nature's Hide and Seek brochure
Hiking

San Elijo: Hide N Seek

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.
Nature's Relationships brochure
Hiking

San Elijo: Natures Relationships

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
In the Nature's Relationships brochure you will discover how everything in nature is connected... even us. As you walk along the trail, the brochure will tell you a story about a few of the relationships that can be found. Many more relationships exist, so keep your eyes and heart open and you will discover many of nature's relationships - even yours.

Directions

2710 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff, CA 92007
Latitude: 33.013346900000
Longitude: -117.273261100000

For Official Directions and Map Click Here

Directions:  From Interstate 5, take the Manchester Avenue exit (#39).  Head west approx. ½ mile and turn left into the Nature Center parking lot. 

From Highway 101, turn east onto Chesterfield Drive.  After crossing over the railroad tracks, turn right onto San Elijo Avenue.  At 3-way stop, continue straight on Manchester Avenue.  Entrance to Nature Center is a located on the right approximately 1/3 mile from the 3-way stop.

Partners

The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve TRACK Trail was made possible by a partnership formed between Kids in Parks and the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation. Additional partners are Jimbo’s Natural Foods Grocer, and the San Diego County Parks Society