Rangers lead hikes throughout the year, but you can also explore the interpretive features of the San Dieguito River Park on your own! In addition to numerous interpretive panels along the trails, we have three self-guided interpretive walks. Below is a list of these self-guided interpretive walks within the River Park.
San Dieguito Lagoon Interpretive Walk
The San Dieguito Lagoon Interpretive Walk begins at the San Dieguito River Park Entry Monument on Jimmy Durante Boulevard and continues east for 1.5 miles with 20 stops along the way. Bring your smartphone or tablet to scan numbered QR codes along the trail, or pick up a booklet and read the corresponding numbered content. The walk covers the history of the Lagoon and its restoration, as well as information about wildlife and coastal habitats.
Ruth Merrill Children’s Interpretive Walk
The Children’s Interpretive Walk travels along the first mile of the Highland Valley Trail, where trail users can discover the importance of the San Dieguito River to plants, animals, and the people that live there. It was dedicated in 1999 to Ruth Merrill, who contributed greatly to the preservation of open space in the San Dieguito River Valley through her dedicated volunteerism.
As you begin the walk, look for numbered wooden posts indicating Discovery Points along the trail. These numbers correspond to information provided in the illustrated Interpretive Walk booklet. This walk is 1.5 miles round trip, with a 2 mile option for those who want to learn more about the area. You will travel out and back on the same trail. There are 15 Discovery Points on the 2 mile option. The 1.5 mile option skips Discovery Points 9 and 10.
A digital version of the interpretive walk is available here , or by scanning the QR Code at the Highland Valley Trail Staging Area interpretive kiosk.
Piedras Pintadas Interpretive Trail
Learn how the Kumeyaay of the past used and managed the resources of the area along the entire 2.2 miles (3.65 miles round trip) of the Piedras Pintadas Trail. Stop at 19 interpretive panels to learn about Kumeyaay lifestyles and 17 more interpretive panels to learn about ethnobotany.
All of the interpretive information is available on the panels, so a separate booklet is not required.