One of the major goals of the San Dieguito River Park is to establish a continuous open space corridor throughout the length of the Park that preserves natural habitats, protects linkages for wildlife movement, and provides compatible areas for recreational opportunities.

In This Issue
Lagoon Trail Hike
Highland Trail Maintenance
Native Plant Society
Sikes Habitat Restoration
Lagoon Bird Walk
Coastal Clean Up
Birthday at Sikes
Sikes Pumpkin Patch
Backyard Wildlife
Trail of the Month
Westley Sugarman


Here is a link to the San Dieguito River Park Activity Calendar.     


Located at the Sikes Adobe (see directions to the Sunset Staging area in the left column).

Every Sunday:
10:30am ~ 3:30pm
(except if Easter, 4th of July, or Christmas).
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SDRP website

Bernardo Bay Natural/Staging Area: (for access to East and South Lake Hodges Trails and the Ribbon Bridge)
Take I-15 to the West Bernardo Dr./Pomerado Rd. exit. Turn left onto West Bernardo Dr.  Within a half mile, you will come to the parking area on the right side of the road. (click here for a map).

Del Dios Gorge/
Santa Fe Valley Staging Area:
On Del Dios Highway, across the street from the Cielo Shopping Center, is the Lemon Twist Stand.  The road to the staging area is within the Lemon Twist pullout, immediately south and west of the Lemon Twist stand. (click here for a map).

Dust Devil Nature Trail

Staging Area:

From Del Mar Heights Road go north on El Camino Real.  The staging area will be at the edge of the San Dieguito Lagoon on your left.  You will continue past the staging area, making a U-turn at San Dieguito Road, then driving south on El Camino Real to the staging area (click here for a map). 


Highland Valley Trail Staging Area:

From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road about 1/4 mile.  Turn left onto Highland Valley Drive. Within about 300 feet, turn right into the parking area. (click here for a map).  


Old Coach Trail Staging Area:
From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road.  After about 1/4 mile, turn left onto Highland Valley Drive.  Drive 2.3 miles.  The Staging Area will be on your right.  12460 Highland Valley Road, San Diego. (click here for a map). 


San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk: (for east end Lagoon Trail access)  End of San Andres Drive in Del Mar, off Via de la Valle, behind the Albertsons Shopping Center. (click here for a map).  


Ramona Grasslands Staging Area:

From I-15 head east on Pomerado Road.  After about 1/4 mile, turn left onto Highland Valley Road.  Drive approximately 10.5 miles up Highland Valley Road to the Ramona Grasslands.  You will see the staging area and trail head on the north side of the road (click here for a map).  


Sunset Staging Area:

(access for Ribbon Bridge, Sikes Adobe, Mule Hill Trail, North Shore Trail, Bernardo Mountain)  

Begin North Shore Trail and Mule Hill Trail here.   

Directions: Take I-15 to Via Rancho Parkway exit, and at the exit ramp turn right at the light.  Go to the light at Sunset Drive (less than a 1/4 mile) and turn right onto Sunset Drive. North County Fair Mall is on the left side of the road.  This is a cul-de-sac with plenty of parking in the gated staging/parking area on the left side of the street or along the street and in the lot at the end of the cul-de-sac. (click here for a map).
from the links below:

Join a SDRP Ranger in the Lagoon
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time:  9:00am - 10:15am
Location:  San Andres Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column).

This walk will be led by a Park Ranger along the San Dieguito Lagoon. This trail offers beautiful views of the lagoon and wildlife that inhabit the area. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant and wildlife identification and updates on current Ranger projects.
The Highland Valley Trail needs you
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Time:  8:00am - 11:00am
Location:  Highland Valley Staging Area (see directions in left column).

Join a Park Ranger for this month's volunteer trail maintenance event. Work on clearing brush from trail and improving trail conditions! Bring drinking water, sun protection, and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Please RSVP to or (858) 674-2275 x14.
Date:  Saturday, October 20, 2012
Time:  6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location:  Balboa Park Casa de Prado, room 104

The first half hour will cover Gardening With Natives, followed by Ceanothus in San Diego: Threats and Endemism.

California is in the center of the distribution of Ceanothus with more than 80% of known taxa. These Ceanothus are under threat of urbanization and population growth.

The wide variety of species and cultivars for gardens and landscape will be discussed.
Get some outdoor exercise at the Sikes Adobe
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Time:  8:00am - 11:00pm
Location:  Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead (see directions in left column).

The event will consist of planting native plants, removing invasive plants to protect wildlife habitat, and maintaining new restoration areas. Tools, training and work gloves are provided! Bring drinking water, sun protection and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Please RSVP to or 858-674-2275x14. Space is limited!
Bird Watching in Crest Canyon
  Saturday, October 20, 2012
Time:  8:00am - 10:00am
Location:  San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk (see directions in left column).

Join John Haddock, a member of Buena Vista Audubon and a Whelan Lake Bird Walk Leader, to discover birds of Crest Canyon and the San Dieguito Lagoon and to learn more about the local ecosystem.
California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state's largest volunteer event. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.

This year, the River Park participated in partnership with SDG&E and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy at the San Dieguito Lagoon. Over 140 volunteers from SDG&E and the community came to the event. Six miles were covered, 510 pounds of trash and 3,020 pounds of green waste were collected. Last year, 100 pounds of trash and 1474 pounds of green waste were removed from the area. In San Diego County, over 7,200 volunteers participated at 88 different sites and 125,000 tons of debris were collected.  
Birthday Parties at the Sikes Adobe are wonderful
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead hosted the first birthday celebration since the Sikes family had one over 100 years ago.

This event was Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay's son's 6th birthday. The children enjoyed making marbles, doing laundry the old fashion way, steer roping and pony rides. This birthday was enjoyed by all and educated the children in the ways of the past. 

Please contact Anne Cooper, Museum Manager, at (760)432-8318 or visit us at to get information on holding an event at Sikes Adobe.
From the Sikes Garden
First Crop in over 100 Years! The pumpkins grown on the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead have been harvested with the able assistance of River Park and Conservancy volunteer Mike Thacker and are for sale during the regular hours of the North San Diego Certified Farmers' Market.

The Market is held at the Sikes Adobe, 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido 92025, on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Conservancy volunteer, Charty Bassett came out to assist during the second weekend of sales, and Living History Circle member Frank Karg has been seen at the pumpkin sales for the past two weekends in period dress! Considering our recent temperatures, that is dedication!  

All proceeds from the sale of our pumpkins go directly to the benefit of the Sikes Adobe. Sales continue while pumpkins last, with three prices according to size. There are two varieties, the Amish Pie pumpkins, which are great for baking, and the ornamental pumpkins, best for carving and decorating. When kept whole, pumpkins should last until Thanksgiving!
by Ranger Jake Gibbs
I live here too
The San Dieguito River Park is interwoven through many acres of agricultural land, residential communities, busy highways, shopping malls, and yet it is teeming with hundreds of species of wildlife. 

A 20-minute walk from department stores will give you opportunities to stroll amongst the homes of mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Houses back up against wide open preserved land where these animals seek their refuge and way of life in an ever encroaching urbanization.

Often we complain about raccoons in the trash, opossums in the attic, and rabbits in the garden - but, we need to remember that although we are residing in a wood and concrete structure, we are living in a place once decorated with the paw prints and hoof marks of these wild animals.
by Cindy O'Grady
The days are getting shorter, and October finds us easing into the rhythm of a San Diego fall. For us locals, it's summerlike conditions without the traffic and crowds. Yes, we're "back at it" but there's no reason to pass on outdoor pleasures, especially when there are spots like the Lake Hodges West section of the Coast-to-Crest Trail right in our San Diego backyard.

A great trail for everyone
Tucked between Rancho Santa Fe and Highway 15 is the community of Del Dios. You've probably driven right past it, yet this little outpost of country offers a great getaway the whole family can enjoy.

Park in the large dirt lot off Lake Drive. If you really want to be a hero, bring everyone's bikes and ride with your kids along the flat path for a while. Mountain bikers can take the trail to the west for 2.4 miles of fun singletrack, rising and twisting around the lake's edge for some great views.

Don't bike? There's plenty else to do. Bring a basketball to shoot some outdoor hoops. Or try your luck off the dock on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday when Lake Hodges is open to fishing. There's also a concession stand with paddle boats for rent. Private boats, including kayaks, are also allowed.

Afterwards, share your adventures over a picnic dinner, or enjoy margaritas and great Mexican food at Hernandez' Hideaway, a local icon just down the road.  Salud!

Where is this section of trail?  Download this North Shore Lake Hodges Trail map...this West section is on the left hand side of the map.  Have fun!
Volunteer Voice
Westley Sugarman (Lagerberg)
Westley Sugarman (Lagerberg) passed away September 17, 2012. She is survived by her husband Sam, two daughters and four grandchildren. Westley was a beloved and dedicated volunteer to the River Park. She was an avid hiker of the Park and eventually became the Volunteer Trail Patrol Coordinator. She was always cheerful, positive and optimistic. Westley dedicated her life to mankind as an Oncology Research Nurse at UCI Medical Center and through her numerous volunteer projects. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. As Westley stated in an article a few years ago: "The River Park is a place where children can go learn about the environment, its importance, and how it relates to them. I love living creatures and want to give that love of nature and the environment to others. The Park gives people the opportunity to go out and refresh their hearts and souls."

Memorial contributions can be made to the San Dieguito River Park by following this link.  Thank you.
All of us in the San Dieguito River Park office are working hard to improve your Park and to make it available to you for recreation and education.  Please feel free to contact me with Riverscape comments or requests.
Leana@ or (858) 674-2275 x14.

Interpretive Ranger and Riverscape Editor, Leana Bulay.