New Coast to Crest trail segment under environmental review

The new trail segment, looking west toward the Surf Sports Park.
(San Dieguito River Park)

A public review period is underway for the new Osuna segment of the Coast to Crest Trail through the San Dieguito River Park.

The new one-mile trail segment will provide a new connection near Morgan Run Golf Club and cross over the San Dieguito River to where the Coast to Crest trail picks up along San Dieguito Road. The trail takes off from the Surf Sports Park and weaves between two golf courses (Morgan Run and Fairbanks Ranch Country Club) and privately-owned Evergate Stables, providing an important link for four miles of coastal trails to 31 miles of inland trails.

To close this longstanding gap in the Coast to Crest Trail, the Osuna segment will include building a new 150-foot-long steel truss bridge across the San Dieguito River, providing access to some beautiful views that have long been hidden to the public.

As part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA) released a Mitigated Negative Declaration for a 30-day public review period that lasts through June 5. The environmental review document states that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, those impacts can be avoided with mitigation measures.

A map of the proposed trail.
(Karen Billing)

Per the document, the trail construction intends to avoid wetlands and other native habitats to the greatest extent feasible by aligning the trail and bridge through previously disturbed areas and using lodge-pole fencing to define the trail and protect adjacent native habitats. The trail will also minimize impacts to historic, cultural, and tribal resources, and provide a safe and enjoyable multi-use trail experience for hikers, runners, bicyclists and equestrians.

The proposed trail width will measure between six and eight feet, and the trail surface will be compacted native soil or decomposed granite. In addition to the lodge-pole fencing, a six-foot-tall black vinyl fence will be installed in some areas to prohibit trespassing onto private property.

For the bridge, the river park will be using the same design as another segment of the Coast to Crest Trail at Del Dios Gorge further east.

Existing trail access for the public is provided along the Coast to Crest Trail and parking is available at the San Dieguito Lagoon staging area, located about two miles to the west of the new segment on San Andres Drive, close to the park’s only public restroom in the ranger station.

The JPA received a $1.3 million grant from the state to cover the CEQA review for the project and the build will also be supported by donor funds. The River Park had hoped to begin construction on this new trail segment in the fall but they are running into a budget shortfall that may delay the construction start.

The environmental review document can be viewed at and comments can be sent to The final Mitigated Negative Declaration incorporating public input will be considered by the San Dieguito River Park JPA Board of Directors at a future public meeting.