San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Cardiff-by-the-Sea: Address, Phone Number, San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
83 reviews
Excellent
59
Very good
23
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0

invertpaleo
New York City, NY345 contributions
Couples
The very beautiful visitor's center is probably the best place to start here, then there are two close-by loop trails that are easy to walk and you will see a lot of nature. Take your binoculars. As well as water birds, there are a lot of butterflies, and of course a good selection of native plants.

There are numerous other trails a little further inland and in different places in the lagoon area.
Written October 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GlobalGypsy_13
San Diego, CA2,687 contributions
Solo
The second trip here I didn't walk on the well-maintained paths, but sat comfortably on the second level deck of the Visitor's Center. From this vantage point with tables, chairs and a couch, you can see the Pacific and enjoy the coastal shrubs and birds. The only drawback is limited parking and current construction that has closed some of the trails. However, on the deck on a weekend this all fades away as you can relax and enjoy nature.
Written June 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elizabeth S
Vermillion, SD80 contributions
Friends
My sister introduced me to San Elijo Lagoon’s hiking trails many years ago and we have been going ever since. Coastal shrub landscape offers a chance to watch birds and spend time away from it all. Trails are well maintained and appropriate for walking or trail running.
Written March 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joel K
Encinitas, CA11 contributions
Couples
This wonderful slice of aquatic beach/lagoon wilderness is such a breath of fresh air after a day of hectic SoCal traffic and work pressure. Easily accessible from the I-5 or Coast Highway in Cardiff, I urge you to enjoy this serene location. Whether you want to just relax or do some casual strolling or light jogging, the trails through the Reserve are very clear, flat and scenic.You'll see all kinds of wildlife and the Reserve has helpful signage to identify various types of birds and other creatures. Bring the kids, you'll all have a pleasant visit.
Written July 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carl C
Portola Valley, CA92 contributions
Family
San Elijo Ecological Reserve is huge, with lots of options for exploring and photographing nature. If you're a family with young kids, the nature center has great exhibits and programs. If you're looking for a short easy walk, the trail out the front door has great views of the lagoon. For the center and/or a short walk, allow 30-60 minutes.

For adults, families with teens, or hikers the trails on the south side of the lagoon or east of the freeway offer various degrees of difficulty. The ranger at the center can help you pick. Because you must drive to those trail heads, and due to the length of some of the trails, depending on which trail you choose and how far you go, allow 1-2 hours, and expect lots of bird life and spectacular views.
Written June 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

897LindaG
Encinitas, CA15 contributions
Family
All I have to ask my grandchildren is, "Shall we go to the wetlands?", and we are off for an afternoon adventure. The self-guided walks are well maintained, the signage is clear, and the lookout areas are what makes this a special place. Because of the well groomed paths,I can walk safely with the kids as well as with my 98 year old dad. There are benches placed along the pathways, and I've told my family that I want them to dedicate one for me when I die.
Written February 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TouringTales
New York City, NY138 contributions
Friends
The well-maintained path around the lagoon is surprisingly entertaining. Each season has it's specialty - flying fish, colorful birds, lizards, crawling crabs…rabbits. The path is marked by benches to encourage a moment's reflection on the tides while markers and signs teach about the sanctuary.

Inside the eco-building are seminars and exhibits with knowledgable staff. Bring lunch and eat on the deck with the lagoon/ocean view….and the bathrooms are always clean.
This is a nice place for an event , a dog walk or to clear your mind.
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Caroline L
Los Angeles, CA2,312 contributions
Solo
Small trails perfect for taking a stroll through nature. Lots of small birds and a variety of plants make for a relaxing scenic walk. There is a small visitor center worth a look which renders beautiful views of the reserve and ocean just beyond. Great for all ages.
Written April 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ms. Vyk
19 contributions
Very informational center and lovely trail. Be aware that the place is a little challenging to find! But well worth it once you do!
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

invertpaleo
New York City, NY345 contributions
Once the major reconstruction of the lagoon, with a new bridge and trails, is all done, and the nearby widening of the freeway and construction of a new cloverleaf intersection is also finished, and once the wild animals and wild plants (estuarine, marine and terrestrial) have had time to recover completely from this vast disruption, this whole area should become really outstanding. I would guess that finishing the construction and the recovery process will take more than two years from now before it is complete.

However, you can already walk the older trails and there is plenty of nature to see other than the areas which are being worked on.
Written October 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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