It's time! River Valley Fest, celebrating the Conservancy's 30th anniversary and "Passion for the Park," is this month! We're excited to see months of planning and anticipation come together in the biggest River Valley Fest to date.

Make sure you've reserved your spot HERE and we'll see you at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club on the 9th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm! Don't miss a special performance from Jack Tempchin, renowned singer-songwriter and North County resident. In addition to Tempchin, local musicians Bill Fleming, Mark Kapov, and Kevin McCully will perform, and as always, guests will be treated to a wine and beer reception, a gourmet meal, and scrumptious desserts. 

We can't wait to see everyone! Make your reservation today.

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park! Don't forget to renew your Conservancy membership and invite your friends, too!




Sundays, October
2, 9, 16, 23, 30
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, October 8
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Volcan Summit & Closed Area Old-Growth Forest Hike
12 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Parks Attendant Doug Andrews

Sunday, October 8
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Ranger 
Bryan Ward

Sunday, October 9
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by SDRP Senior Ranger Dave Hekel

Sunday, October 9
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
4th Annual Safety Fair
Rancho Bernardo Community Park:
Hosted by Rancho Bernardo Community Council
Come meet the San Dieguito River Park Rangers at their table!

Sunday, October 9
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
River Valley Fest
Fairba nks Ranch Country Club:
Hosted by San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy
Register online by Thursday, October 6th

Saturday, October 15
8:00 am - 11:30 am
Lake Hodges Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Bird Walk Leader Hal Benham

Saturday, October 15
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger 
Jake Gibbs

Saturday, October 15
8:30 am - 10:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
Hosted by Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock

Saturday, October 15
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Santa Ysabel East Back Trails Hike
8 miles, moderate to strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Attendant Bill Augustus

Sunday, October 16
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Co-hosted by SDRVC and 
Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea
Free for members
$10 donation for non-members

Sunday, October 16
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Mountain Lions in the Back Country
Hosted by Mountain Lion Foundation Representative Jane Santorumm

Saturday, October 22
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Hidden Hike at Lake Sutherland
Directions available upon registration
Co-hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz and San Diego Public Utilities Watershed Manager Jeff Pasek
$20 donation for members
$40 donation for non-members

Sunday, October 23
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Canyoneers Hike at Crest Canyon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by SD Natural History Museum Volunteers

Tuesday, October 25
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
4th Annual San Diego County Watershed
Hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric
Event is free; parking is $10

Sunday, October 30
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Birding Walk and Talk
Co-hosted by Audubon Society Docent Peter Thomas and San Diego County Parks

All events are free unless otherwise noted.


For hikes, all mileages are approximate.


Please visit our website for more details and full events calendar.  


Join the Conservancy's Meetup group to learn more about upcoming hikes and events in the River Park. 










Your membership helps us to fulfill our mission to protect  the San Dieguito Watershed for generations to come.








For more information, please visit these websites:









Latest News & Updates
30th Anniversary River Valley Fest
Registration is open! Reserve your spot here today!

Coast to Cactus Release
The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors is much more than a hiking guide. Written by the San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers, it is the new bible for really exploring the county while getting to know and appreciate its biodiversity firsthand. 

The guide details 250 hikes, each with its own description, map, and photographs, plus important details like mileage, elevation gain/loss, difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead with GPS, trail use, special features, and type of habitats found on each hike. Each hike has a focus on a species or natural/cultural history feature associated with that hike.

The River Park JPA is very appreciative to the Canyoneers for reaching out and sharing initial draft descriptions and maps for accuracy. It's wonderful to see all of the San Dieguito River Park's trails, including the backbone of the Park, the Coast to Crest Trail, featured so prominently in this book and their context within the region's rich inventory of trails and open spaces.  As the subtitle suggests, it's "Far More than a Hiking Guide;" it helps tell the natural history of the open spaces surrounding the trails in the San Dieguito River Park.
Boardwalk Removal Along San Dieguito Lagoon
Half of the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk has been removed and the viewing platform is in the process of being relocated. Restoration of the dirt parking lot is underway. Until further notice the boardwalk is closed, but a detour is in place between the Coast to Crest Trail and Jimmy Durante Blvd. 

Once completed, there will be subtidal and flooded mudflats, and a wildlife habitat connection to the San Dieguito River. Salt marsh habitat will occupy most of the site and public access will be provided by the San Dieguito River Park JPA by way of the remaining half of the boardwalk and a new segment of the Coast to Crest Trail. 

Spread the Word About the Conservancy!
The Conservancy is growing and we need your help!

As a Conservancy member, you know about the many benefits that come with helping to secure our natural legacy in the River Park. Benefits like:
  • Subscription to our print newsletter, Currents (published three times a year)
  • Subscription to our monthly e-newsletter, Riverscape
  • "Adventure Bucks" discounts at Adventure 16 stores
  • Access to members-only events
  • Priority registration and special rates for Conservancy events
With the support of our members, we have accomplished great things in the River Park over the past 30 years, including:
  • Acquiring open space that would otherwise be developed from the coast to the mountains
  • Removing invasive species and restoring habitat
  • Providing nature and outdoor education opportunities to youth and community throughout the county, including the Citizen Science and Watershed Explorers Programs
  • Offering popular recreation programs like Exploring Our Sense of Place, Full Moon Hikes, Furry Friends Hikes, Yoga at the Birdwing, Trails & Ales, Exec Treks, and more
  • Building the Coast to Crest Trail and other community trails, and connecting the River Park's trail network with other networks in the County
  • Leading volunteer projects and restoration efforts that connect residents to nature and contribute to the vitality of the watershed

We couldn't have done any of this without your help, and we are looking forward to doing even more in the years to come! The Coast to Crest Trail is 25 miles from being completed. Our Citizen Science Monitoring program has reached over 200 citizen scientists and continues to grow. Recreation events ranging from hikes to the River Valley Fest constantly see more and more eager participants. 

To keep up this momentum, we are asking you, our current members, to please share the Conservancy and River Park with your friends. If you have any nature lovers in your life -- any hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, bird watchers, yogis, gardeners, plein air artists, nature photographers, budding botanists or biologists -- please forward this newsletter and tell them how rewarding it is to be a Conservancy member. They can get all the benefits listed above for just  $35 a year by clicking here:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
October 8th
This month, a 2-mile walk will be led by a Park Ranger along the San Dieguito Lagoon. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant/wildlife identification and updates on current Ranger projects. 

Come discover the beauty of the Lagoon with us!

When : Saturday, October 8th at 9:00 am 
Where: San Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area (map)

Hidden Hike at Lake Sutherland
October 22nd
Join Executive Director Trish Boaz and City of Dan Diego Public Utilities Watershed Manager, Jeff Pasek, for a guided hike at the Lake Sutherland Reservoir! 

The Conservancy has been granted special permission from the City to hike an area that is normally closed to the public. Enjoy the rich variety of habitats and species, along with absolutely gorgeous views from this rarely accessed area!

Members: $20 donation
Non-members: $40 donation
When: Saturday, October 22nd at 8:30 am 
Where: directions available upon registration

Sikes Adobe Harvest Festival
November 6th
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead will be celebrating fall on Sunday, November 6th  from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Join us for children's activities, gardening activities, building a scarecrow, a county-style store, house tours and a guided hike to Mule Hill. 

When: Sunday, November 6th from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm 
Where: Sike s Adobe Historic Farmstead (map)

What Happened in September
Fall Trails & Ales Kicks Off
Back by popular demand, the Fall 2016 Trails & Ales hiking series kicked off on September 3rd with a hike along the Piedras Pintadas Trail. After working up a thirst, our hikers headed to Second Chance Beer Co. in Rancho Bernardo to celebrate their 1st Anniversary with beer floats and tasters of their most popular beers.

The Conservancy developed this hiking series last spring in partnership with the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, the Escondido Creek Conservancy, and the Volcan Mountain Foundation to showcase two unique aspects of San Diego County -- our biodiversity and our craft beer!

If you missed out on this series, don't worry. We'll be doing it again next spring and will be adding another partner (and hike) to the mix -- the San Diego River Park Foundation. Helping protect and conserve our natural areas never tasted so good. Cheers!  

photos by Viva Emery

Coastal Cleanup Day 2016
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 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.

Crest Canyon Crew

This year the San Dieguito River Park JPA, San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, SDG&E,  22nd District Agricultural Association, and AECOM partnered to make this such a successful event. There were eight different sites around the San Dieguito Lagoon. 130 participants helped out with trash pick-up on trails and surrounding areas (including in the water by kayak), massive invasive plant removal, installing native plants, and children's activities. In total we collected 120 pounds of trash!


Also within the River Park's planning area, the Del Dios Habitat Protection League hosted a cleanup site at Lake Hodges, and San Diego Canyonlands hosted a cleanup site at Gonzales Canyon. Thank you to all the volunteers!