happyly approved

National Estuary Trail in Imperial Beach

301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, CA, USA

7 am to Sunset


run, hike, outdoor-adventures

The National Estuary Trail is unique & educational family outdoor adventure.

The National Estuary Trail is located in Imperial Beach and is about a 4.6 mile trail. The reserve will take you into prime bird watching areas where the Tijuana River meets the Pacific Ocean. It is home to approximately 370 species of migratory and native birds, including 6 endangered species. Upon arriving, you will notice the beautiful view of coastal Tijuana. Available to the public are large automated binoculars for birdwatching and sightseeing. There are steps and an accessible ramp which leads down to the trail. The trail is very peaceful and is wide enough for walking, biking, running, and jogging with many benches throughout. Along the trail you will enjoy many different blooming flowers and plants.

More information about the reserve can be obtained at the Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center where binoculars and maps are provided to the public. The center offers children from ages 7 through 12 to sign up as junior rangers. The junior ranger program gives cihildren an opportunity to discover facts of nature and learn about the preservation of wildlife. The reserve offers educational activities such as guided tours, workshops, lectures, and talks about the community.

Since San Diego does have a large military community, further south of the estuary you will spot Navy personel conducting military rescue training, the sight of the helcopters are a huge bonus for children.

It is recommended to plan ahead before heading out, it is important to have snacks, hats, and plenty of water. Overall the trail is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Approximately one mile west is Portwood Pier Plaza a fun place to walk while enjoying the sun.

The Visitor Center Hours: Wednesday- Sunday 10:00am- 5:00pm

Parking lot and restrooms are adjacent to the Visitors Center


Restrooms Good for All Ages Outdoor Seating Stroller-friendly Biking Dog-friendly Scenic Views Nature
Thoughtfully captured by:
Claudia Ortiz
My name is Claudia, I was born and raised in the beautiful city of San Diego. I am a coffee lover, plant mom is my second name, I enjoy my daily dose of a good afternoon run, and flowers make feel happy. As a family of four, we enjoy visiting playgrounds, parks, kid-friendly trails, landmarks, restaurants and unique spots in San Diego while sharing the fun with other parents who also enjoy doing the same with their families.
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