Eagle Scout improves La Orilla trailhead in Rancho Santa Fe


Rancho Santa Fe’s R.J. Faltinsky completed his Eagle Scout project last weekend, renovating the San Elijo Lagoon’s La Orilla Trailhead. R.J, a graduate of Diegeuño Country School and freshman at The Bishop's School, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 766, chartered by The Village Church.

This trailhead parking lot on El Camino Real is frequented daily by families, walkers and joggers and was in need of refurbishing.

The completed project on El Camino Real.

"The railroad ties were decaying and out of place and there were many deep potholes to the entrance of the parking lot that made it difficult for cars to get out," R.J. said.

The parking lot renovation, overseen by San Elijo Park Ranger Marshall Gorham, included the replacement of railroad ties as parking headers, weeding and leveling out the pot holes using gravel. R.J. enlisted the help of friends and fellow Boy Scout Troop 766 members to help him with the project.

"I was happy to be able to enhance a place in Rancho Santa Fe that gets so much use,” R.J. said. “It will be a lot easier for cars to get in and out of the parking lot now.”

The La Orilla Trail begins on the east side of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and continues westward for about 3.5 miles. The 979-acre reserve is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, many rare and endangered. Learn more about the trail and others in the lagoon at

Eagle Scout workers Dash Tsai, Rocco Cappetta, R.J. Faltinsky, James Roesser, Noah Lin, John Flaming with San Elijo Lagoon Ranger Beau Devereux, Ranger Alison Lee and Ranger Marshall Gorham.