San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy

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Conservancy Recreation Projects

Over 65 miles of trails currently traverse the San Dieguito River Park, allowing visitors of all ages and abilities to get up close and interact with the beautiful natural environment. We continue to get closer to realizing our vision of the Coast to Crest Trail that will connect the Del Mar coast to the Pacific Crest, providing access to a variety of habitats and vegetation communities.

Our goal is to give visitors the chance to interact with nature – a vital component of well-being – in a way that is compatible with protecting and conserving the watershed and the numerous species and communities it supports. This is why we carefully study opportunities to extend trails or construct new ones that won’t adversely affect delicate ecosystems, while still providing scenic trails to explore.

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San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk and Trail

Project Summary

The Lagoon Boardwalk is a 0.28-mile pedestrian-only walkway that provides River Park visitors with close access to the very sensitive marsh areas of the San Dieguito Lagoon.

It was designed to allow for periodic flooding during the rainy season. Interpretive panels line the boardwalk, which ends at a viewing platform.

Planning and construction was funded by $354,000 in grants from the state Coastal Conservancy. Volunteers from the Del Mar Rotary Club, along with experienced contractors, laid the planks for the Boardwalk during one all-day work party. Over 500 donors have spent $100 each to have nameplates installed on the planks along the edge of the walkway. These donations have gone towards ongoing maintenance, as well as other Conservancy projects in the Lagoon and western end of the River Park.


The Lagoon Boardwalk was completed in 2007 and can be accessed on foot from Jimmy Durante Boulevard or from the trail head at the south end of San Andres Drive.

Resource Value

The salt marsh and surrounding uplands in the San Dieguito Lagoon are some of the most rare and threatened habitats in the River Park. The River Park was fortunate the lagoon was selected as the site of the $90 million Wetlands Restoration Project, the majority of which is already complete.

A number of species that depend on our vanishing coastal wetlands are already benefitting from the newly restored wetlands. Ocean fish are using the deeper water as nurseries, and salt marsh vegetation is providing critical nesting habitat for endangered birds like the Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. The Lagoon is also an important rest stop for over 100 birds that migrate along the Pacific Flyway.

Management & Maintenance

Donate a plank! Your gift will be recognized with a nameplate on the Boardwalk and will go towards ongoing maintenance and other Conservancy projects in the Lagoon.

Parking directions to the Boardwalk and Trail

San Dieguito Lagoon Trail Map

San Dieguito Boardwalk and Lagoon Trail



Funded by

Grants from State Coastal Conservancy (totaling $354,000)


0.28-mile pedestrian Boardwalk provides public viewing and access to sensitive marsh areas of the Lagoon

San Pasqual Valley – Poway Trail Connection (Old Coach Trail)

Project Summary

The recently renamed Old Coach Trail, completed in October 2011, links the San Pasqual Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail to the extensive City of Poway trail system.

The Human family provided primary financial support for the trail, with additional support from the D’Augustine Family Foundation.


The connection was constructed by the City of Poway between the Heritage development near Blue Sky Ranch in Poway to San Pasqual Valley, and includes a staging area at the Evergreen Nursery tree farm on Highland Valley Road. The trail is adjacent to wetland and riparian habitats in the streambed of the San Dieguito River and offers spectacular views of the River Valley.

Resource Value

The Old Coach Trail connection is the first step in establishing a regional trail network throughout San Diego County, with north/south trail links between the major east/west regional trails.

San Pasqual Valley Trail Map

Old Coach Trail



Funded by

Human Family, with additional support from the D’Augustine Family Foundation


0.25-mile trail link from the Coast to Crest Trail to Poway trail system

River Path Del Mar Extension

Press & Latest Updates

As of February 2015, we have completed plant and wildlife studies and finalizing the design.

City of Del Mar – River Path Extension Project

Del Mar Times article 9/27/14

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Support the River Path Del Mar Extension! Donate here.

Project Summary

The River Path Del Mar provides a scenic overlook on the San Dieguito Lagoon and River, complete with interpretive signage of the flora and fauna of the River and Lagoon. The existing trail starts at Jimmy Durante Boulevard and travels west towards the coast and along the south edge of the River, providing beautiful water views and information about this important wetland and natural resource. Parking is currently provided at a lot immediately east of the City’s Public Works yard.

The proposed path extension will continue along the east side of Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Old Grande Avenue Bridge. The City of Del Mar has secured the long-term lease of a parcel from the North County Transit District at the corner of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive specifically to provide parking for the River Path Del Mar extension. The City has been working in partnership with the San Dieguito River Park JPA and the Conservancy on the development of the trail.

The trail extension will be a boon to nature tourism and will be an additional feature for hikers of the Coast to Crest Trail to enjoy. We estimate that 50-100 people will visit the trail extension each day in the off-season, with higher numbers when the County Fair is being held and during race seasons at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The City of Del Mar owns several parcels through which the proposed path will travel, and the majority of the remaining parcels have been acquired by the Conservancy.

View a preliminary plan for the River Path extension here.


The total project cost is estimated at $470,000.

The City of Del Mar has budgeted $20,000 for the project. The Conservancy has received a $150,000 grant from the County of San Diego through Third District Supervisor Dave Roberts. This grant is meant to fund the design and environmental review needed to build the River Path Del Mar extension.

The $300,000 balance will be secured by the City of Del Mar and the Conservancy through a combination of City funds, grants, mitigation funds, and private donations.

We have raised $128,500 of our $150,000 fundraising goal! Thank you to:

County of San Diego (Through Third District County Supervisor Dave Roberts) $150,000

A.C. & Patricia D'Augustine, D'Augustine Family Foundation $30,000.00

Tippett Foundation $20,000.00

Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation $20,000.00

Matthew Jones $10,000.00

Chris Khoury & Linda Corey $10,000.00

REI $7,000.00

Del Mar Foundation $6,000.00

Keith and Sue Colestock $5,189.25

Kim Godwin & Tom Wilcox $5,000.00

Ramona & Max Kiltz-Lifetime Members $2,000.00

California 10/20 $1,500.00

Turnkey Operations $1,500.00

Jeffrey Barnouw $1,000.00

Peter Shapiro & Kathy Sage $1,000.00

Tom & Julie Page $1,000.00

Bill Michalsky $500.00

Jan and Robert McMillan $500.00

Diane Martin $500.00

Dr. Susan & Jurgen Lenz $500.00

Gary & Maxine Kreitzer $500.00

Jim & Janie King $500.00

Dagmar & James Helgager $500.00

Carol Mann & Alan Vier $500.00

Dave & Georgette Kreitzer-Lifetime Members $250.00

Jerry Harmon $250.00

Kent & Linda Erickson $250.00

John and Arvie Degenfelder $250.00

Jim and Cheryl Coffee $250.00

Karen & Wolf Berger-Lifetime Members $250.00

Pat & Peter Benson $250.00

Janet Raschke $200.00

Thomas & Ellen O'Neil $150.00

Erik Smith $100.00

Carl and Karen Winston $100.00

Warren Fox $100.00

Douglas Gillingham & Dana Friehauf $100.00

Mary Ann & James Emerson $100.00

Robert and Margaret Schneider $100.00

Robert A Brue $100.00

Donald Mosier, Del Mar Councilmember $100.00

Bill Smith & Carol Harter $100.00

John Terrell $50.00

Donate to the River Path Del Mar extension here.

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