The San Dieguito River Park has greatly benefited from the volunteer Mountain Bike Patrol program that Senior Park Ranger David Hekel, himself a mountain biker, started in June 2013. The park has always had volunteer trail patrol members, some of whom rode mountain bikes, that help provide extra eyes and ears on the trail and report any issues and trail user counts back to the park rangers, but this was the first time we specifically reached out to the increasing numbers of mountain bikers that regularly rode our trails. The park provides specialized training and gear to these volunteers, like how to perform bicycle maintenance and repairs, proper trail etiquette, and SDRP MTB Patrol volunteer jerseys. The program was recognized at the following year’s California Trails and Greenways Conference with a Merit Award.
Another accomplishment in 2013 was the completion of the half-mile Horsepark segment of the Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon. This created a 2.5 mile long segment between El Camino Real and Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Also in 2013, the River Park partnered with the San Diego Natural History Museum to conduct a turtle trapping survey to determine whether the Southern Pacific Pond Turtle was present in the San Dieguito River through Del Dios Gorge, below Hodges Dam. While we ended up not finding any pond turtles, we were able to remove a couple dozen non-native turtles, mostly Red-eared Sliders, and give them to the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society to adopt out.
The first wedding ceremony at Sikes Adobe in over a century was held in January 2013. Two of Zenas and Eliza Sikes children got married in their home in the 1870s.
Interpretive Ranger, San Dieguito River Park