Trails in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

You are in one of San Diego's more diverse coastal wetlands. Trails are here for you. If you are a runner, hiker, birder, equestrian, photographer or painter - the lagoon provides natural solace and recreation. Trails connect wetland habitats of coastal strand, salt marsh, freshwater/brackish marsh, riparian scrub, coastal sage scrub, and mixed chaparral. 

The 979-acre reserve is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, many rare and endangered. While birds are the most prominent wildlife, species of mammals, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates depend on the lagoon.  


Several trail areas are closed temporarily as work is under way for highway improvements in the North Coast Corridor (NCC) program. For the next few months, east-west access linking the lagoon's trails under the I-5 freeway will not be possible. Crews are removing vegetation along I-5 and the railroad. Upon project completion, removed vegetation will be replaced with non-invasive landscape native to our region’s coastal zone. 

For updates about the construction phase of highway and rail corridor improvements, please visit The San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project is estimated to begin this fall.