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Bird viewing along Santa Inez Trail during Wildlife Walks
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is one of San Diego's largest coastal wetlands.
Naturalist-guided walks explore the ecology and history of the lagoon, and highlight plants and animals that depend on six distinct plant communities:
More than 700 species of plants and animals rest, eat, breed, and make their homes here. Birders will delight in discoveries of rare and migratory species in the reserve.
FREE, GUIDED WEEKEND WALKS
Please note: groups of 5 or more are requested to schedule a walk in advance (see below).
See Side Bar for Weekly and 2nd Saturday Walks.
GUIDED WALKS FOR SCOUTS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS
Designed for groups of 5 or more
Scouts and community groups can arrange for naturalist-led tours tailored to feature wildlife, plant communities, or native Kumeyaay culture of the lagoon. Please schedule at least one month in advance of desired date.
Days: Wednesday through Saturday
Times: 9 am–5 pm (Guided Walks are 1.5 hours)
Suggested Donation: $50
Donations toward environmental education programs enrich our docent training and educational materials. Thank you for your support of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.
Log on, and sign up for your desired walk: Calendar
Please contact Tara Fuad, Education Director
E: education [at] sanelijo [dot] org
P: 760-436-3944 x 701
NATURALIST-LED WEEKEND WALKS
San Elijo Lagoon Guided Walks
Beginning at San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, this easy walk provides an overview of San Elijo Lagoon’s important features, and the connection of wetlands with our society. This walk is also great for birding and marine invertebrate sightings that provide an up-close view of life between the tides. The ¼-mile Nature Center Loop Trail is ADA-accessible. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy naturalists lead these weekly walks.
Set out traversing coastal sagebrush with chaparral communities on the hills in the lagoon's south side. Underfoot are broken bits of shells, reminders of the native people who once lived here. You will see the freshwater marsh below, and if lucky, you might glimpse mule deer that reside in this eastern region of the Reserve.
ADOPT-A-CLASS FIELD TRIPS:
Summer Evening Walks
As the sun begins to descend over the ocean, some animals that live in San Elijo Lagoon emerge from daytime slumber. Explore the estuary as day becomes dusk with San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy docents. Enjoy the fragrance of sage-scrub on a warm evening. Search for mule deer emerging from naps and scan for night herons fishing for breakfast. Santa Carina trail has moderate inclines in some areas. It is helpful to have water and to dress comfortably.
Summer Evening Walks are free, and are made possible through membership support of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Evening Walks occur 3rd Wednesdays from 5:30-7 pm, except September from 5-6:30 pm.
Summer Wildlife Walks
Focus your binoculars and cameras for incredible opportunities to see osprey, cormorants on the power poles at the inlet, waterfowl, and the rare Clapper Rail that nest in this area. This is San Elijo Lagoon's south side featuring riparian woodlands and coastal sage scrub, with intimate views of the salt marsh, all hosting a wide variety of birds and plants.
Fall Wildlife Walks
Enjoy a stroll through four distinct plant communities: from the shade of riparian woodlands, farther down to the marsh, along hillside chaparral and coastal sage scrub. Listen for the tapping of woodpeckers, or watch for mule deer grazing vegetation along creek banks.
Wildlife Walks are free, and are made possible through membership support of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Wildlife Walks occur 2nd Saturdays from 9-11 am, rotating to a different trailhead every three months starting with Santa Inez, followed by Santa Carina, Rios Avenue, and La Orilla.
Family Discovery Days