"San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is one of San Diego County’s largest remaining coastal wetlands, encompassing more than a thousand acres. The brackish lagoon is located in Solana Beach and empties into the Pacific Ocean. The wetland reserve has over 7 miles of trails through chaparral and marshland, with 8 separate trailheads. This hike begins on the south shore and follows the wetlands east to Tern Point, an overlook of the lagoon. It continues on the La Orilla Trail through a lush, shaded woodland." Read more
"A great blue heron ambles on stilt legs across the reed-fringed shallows, stabbing occasionally at subsurface morsels of food. Nearby, a willowy egret glides in for a perfect landing, scattering concentric ripples across the surface of the lagoon. Both species seem oblivious to binocular-toting humans who spy on them—from a comfortable distance.
A scene like this is repeated almost daily at San Elijo Lagoon, centerpiece of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Preserve, on public lands jointly administered by the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife." Read more
"San Elijo Lagoon feels a little more remote than its neighbor to the north, Batiquitos Lagoon. The path meanders very close to the actual lagoon and skirts along the sometimes muddy edge. It is dif .cult to feel like you are away from the city, but you can almost get a sense of solitude here. You wander among well-trodden paths that showcase the variety of wetland plants and birds, and if you take the time to imagine, you can picture yourself in a bygone era. Don’t close your eyes, though; the hum of Interstate 5 is constant and will immediately snap you out of your daydream. This, however, is life in Southern California. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find a solitary stretch of beach or oceanside lagoon that doesn’t have a freeway running right by it south of Santa Barbara County, or at least not one where dogs are allowed. This is as close as it gets in San Diego County to water wildlands. The sound of the freeway is not so bad; this is a beautiful area, and the opportunity to observe migrating birds up close is well worth the short trip." Read more
"This remote part of the San Elijo Lagoon takes in the eastern end of the wetland and the watershed that feeds it. Sandy trails merge into packed dirt to wander among towering eucalyptus trees and scrubby hills and into difficult wetlands. Trails crisscross and interweave as they continue to head west toward the ocean." Read more
"San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, stretching over a thousand acres, is a mixture of freshwater from Escondido and La Orilla Creeks and saltwater from the ocean. The estuary is a wildlife haven that supports large populations of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The wetland reserve has more than 7 miles of trails, making it easily accessible to hikers and birdwatchers. This hike begins on the south shore and follows the wetlands on the Gemma Parks Interpretive Trail. The shoreline path has informational panels about the lagoon’s ecological history. A side path climbs up secluded Holmwood Canyon between eroded sandstone cliffs. Hikes 73 and 74 may be combined for a 6-mile hike." Read more