San Dieguito River Park - Riverscape
the San Dieguito River Park Newsletter
May 2010
In This Issue
Hike, Piedras Pintadas Ridge
Trail Restoration
Birdwatching, Lagoon
Habitat Rehabilitation
Wagon Ride, Sikes
Lagoon Enhancement
Gem Mine Exploration
Hike, Highland Valley
Kayak on Lake Hodges
Budget Update
Great Gift
Hike, Piedras Pintadas Ridge
Sunday, May 9
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Trail Restoration
Sunday, May 9
8:00am - 11:00am

Birdwatching at the Lagoon
Saturday, May 15
8:00am- 9:30am
Habitat Rehabilitation Project
Saturday, May 15
8:00am - 11:00am 

Historic Wagon Ride
Saturday, May 15
11:00am - 2:00pm
Lagoon Enhancement
Work Party
Saturday, May 22
9:00am - 12 noon

Gem Mine Exploration
Sunday, May 23
12noon - 4:30pm

Highland Valley Trail
Saturday, May 29
9:00am - 11:00am

All month
Self Guided Hike
Kayak Lake Hodges
Quick Links...

May, Make Time For Leisure
Make Time For Leisure
To see additional images of the San Dieguito River Park click this link.  Jim  and Cheryl Coffee are committed to photographing and sharing images of the many areas and activities throughout the park.
Wildflowers are plentiful on the Piedras Pintadas ridge.
It is wild flower time.
Sunday, May 9
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Waterfalls and spring flowers are the highlights of this easy hike on a ridge overlooking Lake Hodges.  The San Diego Natural History Museum "Canyoneers" will be your guide.

Exit west on Rancho Bernardo Road from I-15. Turn right at West Bernardo Drive, then left on Poblado Road. Go 1 mile, and park on street. Meet at the entrance to the walkway between Moon Song Court and Smoke Signal Drive.
Sunday, May 9 
8:00am - 11:00am

Happy Mother's Day!  We're working on the newly reopened trail (after three years!) from Hodges dam to the west!  It's short notice but if you'd like to come out and help trim back overgrowth and work on tread repair, join us! 

Please park across from the Hernandez Hideaway Restaurant in the parking area used by hikers!  Wear closed-toe shoes and bring water.
Photo of Great Egret by Jeanie Anderson
Great Egret
Saturday, May 15
8:00am - 9:30am

Join avid birder Jeanie Anderson at the San Dieguito Lagoon as the River Park continues public birdwatching sessions designed to encourage birders from all backgrounds to share their love of birds. Bring your binoculars, cameras, and water!

Click hereto see a Google map showing where we will meet.
Saturday, May 15
8:00am - 11:00am

This special work project at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead on the Mule Hill Trail (park at the Sunset staging area) is in anticipation of the Reopening Celebration to be held Saturday, June 26th from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. 

We will be pulling weeds, leveling the area around the Creamery site, consolidating green debris to be removed from around the farmhouse, and trimming pepper trees.
If you would like to help please contact Sikes Adobe Museum Manager, Anne Cooper by calling (858) 674-2275, ext. 19 or send an email to
The entire family can enjoy the river park from this horse drawn carriage.
Saturday, May 15

11:00am - 2:00pm

Led by a Docent, wagon rides are round trip from Mule Hill Trail at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, continuing to the historic Bernardo town site.  Rides are round trip and last approximately 45 minutes. The wagon departs at 11:00am, 12:00noon, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm. It's great fun...good for the entire family.

Cost: $10.00 adults, $5.00 Children: in support of the San Dieguito River Park's Friends of the Sikes Adobe.

Click here for a Wagon Ride map.
Ranger Natalie explains lagoon progress.
Saturday, May 22

9:00am - 12 noon
New to the Schedule

Join us for the first public work project at the coastal end of the San Dieguito River Park! "Lagoon Enhancement" will entail set-up the new San Dieguito Lagoon native plant nursery. Work will consist of spreading and leveling gravel to create the floor of the nursery and moving newly constructed potting tables and potted willow trees into the nursery.

Contact if you have questions or would like to come out and help.

Directions:  From I-5 or the Del Dios Highway exit onto Via de la Valle.  Turn onto San Andres Drive, near the Albertsons Shopping Center and California Bank and Trust.  Enter chain link gate on left side and come down to the trailers to park.  There is also ample parking on the street.
Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz
Sunday, May 23

12 noon - 4:30pm

The next San Dieguito Exploration fundraiser is to an active rose quartz mine in the remote Carney Canyon north of Ramona!

Distance: 6.4 miles with a 1,200 feet elevation gain
Difficulty: moderately-strenuous for intermediate hikers; strenuous for beginners

This beautiful, expert-led hike includes:

  • 30'-high wall of white quartz streaked with black tourmaline
  • Experts on the history of the area, its biology, gemology and geology.
  • A meeting with the mine operator.
  • Riparian woodland terrain and chaparral-covered slopes within the Cleveland National Forest
  • Sweeping views of Pamo Valley
  • Refreshments will be provided!

Participation is by registration only, as space is limited.  New Members - $50, Existing Conservancy Members - $35, Non-Memberes - $40.  For additional details and to register for this hike

Remember that a contribution to the Conservancy directly benefits the San Dieguito River Park!
The Highland trail is easy and scenic.
Highland Trail
Saturday, May 29

9:00am - 11:00am

One of the nicest trails in the River Park, and slowly recovering from the 2007 fire storms, this area offers a wide variety of flowers and birds. It's located near Lake Hodges but is nestled off Highland Valley Road. The "Canyoneers" will be your guide. No reservations are necessary.

Click here for a link to the staging area.
Russell Homestead
May 15, & May 22


The Conservancy has been an active partner in the protection of Volcan Mountain for over a decade, assisting with the acquisition of over 9,000 acres. A purchase agreement was recently signed for the Russell Homestead property and you can help us raise the $500,000 needed to complete this key purchase of 420 acres, a critical step toward protecting the rest of Volcan Mountain forever. For those interested in becoming a major donor to the campaign ($500 or more is suggested but not a prerequisite) we have arranged private tours of the property on Saturdays in April and May. The tour will be by car, stopping at five locations for short walks to see the property.

Reservations are required ~ please contact the Conservancy office at (858) 755-6956 or sdrvc@sdrvc.orgto reserve a space.
Each month we feature a San Dieguito River Park Trail
for you to enjoy.

Kayaking on Lake Hodges is a family activity.
Kayaking on Lake Hodges
Kayaking on Lake Hodges is suitable for the entire family.

You will launch your kayak at the Lake Hodges Boat Launch Facility.  Kayaks are also available there for rent from the Lakes staff.

Paddle either to the Lake Hodges Dam, or east to Bernardo Bay and/or to the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge.  Take your time.   Paddle close to the shore so that you will have better opportunity to observe birds and mammals.  Explore the small bays.

We suggest that you be aware of the wind conditions.  If wind is predicted and if you are not familiar with kayaking in the wind, you might consider rescheduling for another day.

Enjoy the ribbon bridge from the water, watch fishermen catch fish, enjoy the birds as they soar overhead; and notice the many birds that rely on Lake Hodges for their habitat.
Sikes Windmill
Saturday, June 26
10:00 - 12 noon
 12655 Sunset Drive, Escondido, CA  92025
  • Ribbon cutting ceremony
  • Decent-led tours of the farmhouse
  • Period-style refreshments
  • Historic wagon tours
  • Bees wax candle decorating
  • Games of marbles
  • "June" pole and flower baskets and more!
Thank you to the many San Dieguito River Park supporters who took the time to write San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to express your concerns about the City's decision to withdraw all funding from the San Dieguito River Park.
At the present time there is no change to the situation. The Mayor met with the Mayors of the San Dieguito River Park's other 4 member agencies (Del Mar, Escondido, Poway and Solana Beach) and the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors on April 15th. They expressed their dismay at the City's unilateral decision to withdraw funding and they explained that the citizens of the City of San Diego are the biggest beneficiaries of the San Dieguito River Park. The Mayor said he would investigate the option of transferring the River Park budget to the Water Department, but was not encouraging. 
The San Dieguito River Park Board will be considering budget alternatives for potential adoption at its May 21st meeting for the new fiscal year that starts July 1st.  To make up the loss of the City of San Diego's $254,000 in the River Park's annual budget, the various budget alternatives that will be before the Board include layoffs, continued furloughs and/or a range of cuts in employee benefits.
Honor a loved one today!
San Dieguito Lagoon Planks
Need a great gift idea for the Moms, Dads, and Grads in Your Life?  Help extend the Lagoon Boardwalk and Trail and the legacy of the River Park by honoring your special person with an inscribed plaque attached to his/her own plank on the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk.  Add to the legacy of the River Park!  Just $100.

 In closing...
The San Dieguito River Park is a partnership that includes
You!  We hope that You will make it a point to spend time both enjoying and supporting your wonderful park.

We love open space!

The San Dieguito River Park Staff