Kid-Friendly Activities at the San Dieguito River Valley Park

RANGER-LED WALKS AT THE LAGOON every second Saturday


The entire family will enjoy this walk along the San Dieguito Lagoon led by a River Park Ranger. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project as well as plant and wildlife identification. You will also get updates on current River Park projects and volunteer opportunities.  Meet at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom, just east from the San Andres Drive interpretive kiosk. Info:


Grab your binoculars and join a Bird Walk Leader from the Buena Vista Audubon Society to discover birds of the San Dieguito Lagoon and learn more about the local ecosystem. See the website for dates and meeting locations. Info:

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Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead is one of the oldest structures in San Diego County and one of the few remaining adobes in the region. At the gateway to the San Pasqual Valley Agriculture Preserve, it is a State Point of Historical Interest, an opportunity to experience life in the “old days.” Themed birthday parties, scout programs, school field trips, and homeschoolers are some of the many participants at Sikes Adobe.

Visit the Historic Sikes Adobe Farmstead to learn what early life in San Diego was like! Info:, 760.432.8318

Other recent family-friendly events include: Crafts – making hiking sticks, birdfeeders, and more, History walks, “Spooky Science” projects, “The Living Coast” to learn about natural resources and human interaction/coexistence with environment, using watershed as a model. Info:


At the Highland Valley Trail staging area, just south of Lake Hodges in Northern Rancho Bernardo, this interpretive walk is 1.5 miles round trip, with a 2-mile option for those who want to learn more about the area.
As you begin the walk, you’ll see numbered posts along the trail. These are Discovery Points. At each of these 15 points you become a Nature Scout and learn how a river influences the land, and about the plants, animals, and people who share the environment. Pick up a booklet at the trailhead at the kiosk or download a PDF copy from the website at


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.

The San Dieguito Lagoon Interpretive Walk is available for download on the River Park’s mobile website, in written and audio form in English and Spanish. The booklet is also available along the trail, or you can download a PDF copy from the website at in both English and Spanish.

With over 65 miles of trails, for all ability levels, families can trek through habitats from the coast, through the valley, to the foothills and Volcan Mountain north of Julian. Info:

Monthly habitat restoration and trail maintenance projects offer a great way for older kids to earn community service credit, for high school and college students to gain valuable career experience “in the field,” and for anyone to support the River Park and its projects.

All activities are free unless otherwise noted and reservations should be made if noted. See the website for location.

Trail Maintenance – the 2nd Sunday of each month, 8-11 a.m. 

Habitat Restoration – the 3rd Saturday of each month, 8-11 a.m.  




The River Park’s comprehensive Scout Program helps guide scouts to complete meaningful projects that benefit the community and the scout.

If you are looking for that perfect project to satisfy your highest merit badge award, why not do it at the San Dieguito River Park? Park Rangers will work closely with you to make sure that the project goes smoothly. We offer a number of different projects, including trail upgrade and reconstruction projects, wildlife habitat rehabilitation projects, building and construction projects, and many more.

Examples of Past Scout Projects

  • Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration
  • Oak Woodland Restoration
  • Native Garden Habitat
  • Trail Signs
  • Trailside Interpretive Kiosks
  • Picnic Tables
  • Shade Structures
  • Interpretive Panel Stands


Info:, Ranger Jake Gibbs