The very easy Discovery Trail at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a fine place to walk or sit on a bench, while drinking in nature’s beauty.
The short .13 mile highly accessible trail follows the edge of a bluff just east of the historic Lodge (the park’s Visitor Center) and its parking lot.
There are scenic overlooks with views of Carmel Valley, Los Peñasquitos Lagoon and even the Pacific Ocean. Signs describe many of the natural marvels around you. Native plants along the way are identified with information plaques.
Last weekend I slowly walked north along the Discovery Trail.
I began at Torrey Pines Park Road across from the Beach Trailhead parking lot. That’s where I saw the sign pictured below. I then headed north until I reached the rear of the old Lodge.
TORREY PINE WOODLANDS. The Torrey Pine tree is one of the most rare pine trees in all of North America. The young trees that you see today may be the remnants of what was once an ancient coastal forest. This natural plant community is found only in nutrient-poor sandy soils, along the sandstone bluffs, canyons, and ravines of Torrey Pines State Reserve and on Santa Rosa Island…
Wherever you stand, you are in a watershed. Here Carmel Valley Creek, Los Peñasquitos Creek and Carroll Canyon Creek all drain to one point: Los Peñasquitos Lagoon’s exit to the Pacific Ocean…
You are looking at a saltmarsh, where salt water from the ocean mixes with fresh from rivers and streams…Los Peñasquitos Marsh Natural Preserve remains a natural coastal wetland.
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