Walking along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail one fine morning.
Today I headed up the coast to Carlsbad. I wanted to walk along a trail that I heard was very beautiful.
I often drive along Interstate 5 over Batiquitos Lagoon, just north of the La Costa exit, but I never get more than a brief glimpse of the shining water and green margins. So this morning I ditched the car, tightened the laces of my walking shoes, and walked for a bit along the lagoon’s main trail.
The two mile trail along the north edge of the tidal wetland and the Nature Center are both maintained by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
A hiker approaches the Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center from the Gabbiano Lane trailhead.
Curious visitors come and go, keeping friendly volunteers at the Nature Center busy.
People can purchase a personalized brick to help support the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
The Nature Center might be modest, but it is welcoming and full of interesting exhibits.
Before entering I saw the Batiquitos Free Lagoon Lovers Library.
The very cool Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center is like a one room jam-packed museum.
I see a snowy egret and a Cooper’s hawk.
The many different birds that live at the lagoon can be identified by their distinctive eggs.
Visitors can closely examine lagoon insects and other creeping, crawling creatures.
Various human artifacts on display include Native American Kumeyaay clay pots and tools.
A poster shows Carlsbad’s watershed, including the area where fresh water (including San Marcos Creek and Encinitas Creek) flows into Batiquitos Lagoon.
As I left the Nature Center, I lingered for a moment on the shady front porch and gazed out toward the nearby lagoon.
Next to some picnic benches by the Nature Center, you’ll find a very strange creature lurking. It’s The Creature From Batiquitos Lagoon, by artist Paul Weber, 2003.
To the west, Interstate 5 runs over part of the lagoon’s Pacific Ocean tidal inlet. Many drive past this beautiful place without ever stopping to enjoy it.
Now we are heading east along the north edge of smooth, blue Batiquitos Lagoon.
Several small concrete seats were decorated with colored stone mosaics. This one features a mallard duck.
The bright September sunshine on green.
The west part of the Lagoon Trail follows tan sandstone cliffs.
The cliffs along this stretch belong to the Scripps Formation. The sandstone was deposited in a shallow ocean about 45 million years ago.
Approaching a more wooded area at the border of the lagoon.
Several short trails head north from the main trail into nearby Carlsbad neighborhoods.
I see a mosaic turtle!
Many informative signs can be found along the trail. This one lists salt marsh niches, including floating plants, diving birds, wading birds, bottom fish, mud worms and more. It also talks about caring for the environment and human responsibility.
A large mudflat shines like silver in the morning sunlight.
This enormous tree stands alone near the edge of the water. It has probably lived there for a very long time.
Now I see a wading heron!
Walking near the lush edge of the tidal marsh. Along here grows a lot of Coyote Brush, and non-native Yellow Mustard.
The trail passes over a tiny bridge and a thin stream of water.
Bending over I was able to take a photograph of a wood rat den made of twigs and branches.
A nearby sign explains the wood rat’s den. Also called pack rats, they build complex houses with various chambers.
The white fluffy heads of some non-native pampas grass seem to shimmer in the breeze.
Now we are walking right beside the tidal lagoon.
Coastal Goldenbush blooms about to open.
More beautiful leaves in sunlight.
It appears a tall tree fell and was cleared from the path.
Walking along a very beautiful trail in coastal San Diego County.
Plaque on one bench by the trail. From the high mountains of Colorado to the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, serenity and peace can be found.
More natural beauty.
We are near the end of our two mile walk.
More late summer beauty.
Now we are approaching the eastern end of Batiquitos Lagoon, beyond which runs El Camino Real. Light shines upon life-giving water.
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View all posts by Richard Schulte