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Review Highlights
Clean, peaceful and beautiful

Very informational center and lovely trail. Be aware that the place is a little challenging to... read more

Reviewed September 28, 2020
Viamber
Enticing chaparral

Entered this ecological reserve by the N. Rios trailhead, with limited parking. Wanted to do some... read more

Reviewed September 13, 2020
Jake B
,
Charlottesville, Virginia
via mobile
Read all 76 reviews
  
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Reviewed June 29, 2017

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.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank Carl C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2017

My husband and I go at least twice a week. It's a lovely place for a walk. Birdwatcher's paradise. This week we saw a Mom and 2 baby egrets right on the walking trail. We've seen herons, many kinds of ducks, osprey, terns, hummingbirds, kingfishers, etc. The small museum has a learning sheet for the small children to check off the various birds and animals they see. There are nature walks available on the week ends as well as special events for families scheduled throughout the year. Nice hiking trails. Very nice way to spend an hour or so! No charge.

Date of experience: May 2017
1  Thank Patricia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2017

so glad that southern california is now paying a lot of attention to watersheds. This is a wonderful place to visit. When i last lived in Cardiff many years ago the marsh was still just a dumping area.

Date of experience: March 2017
Thank impossibley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2017

This spot is great for walks, birding, and just enjoying the sight and smell of the Pacific Ocean. The nature center on Mancester is a good starting point, but has very limited parking available. So embrace nature at the San Elijo Lagoon.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank GlobalGypsy_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2017 via mobile

I enjoyed strolling the lovely paths in this preserve. There is a visitor's center and wonderful views.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank momofjrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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