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Re: Wheelchair Accessible Birding

5:05 pm

Kit Carson park is close to Rancho Bernardo and has accessible paths and good birding. There is a 2.4 mile loop path, with about 1 mile of the path paved and the rest packed dirt, all very flat. There aren’t as many birds there this time of year as there are at other times, but I still enjoy it. There are lots of different places in the park that are good for birding there if you are looking for more stationary options, rather than a whole wheelchair accessible trail too. If you look it up on AllTrails, it has detailed accessibility info that seems accurate to what I’ve seen when I’ve been there. 


The other suggestions I have are a bit further away but are still relatively close to RB & might be better options this time of year. One option is the Del Mar River Path/ Coast to Crest trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon. This is a longer, mostly packed dirt trail, but again, there’s different places you could go along the trail with parking if you want to stay in one place and check out birds near the coast. One good spot for that is near Viewpoint Brewing Company (on eBird, it’s listed as San Dieguito Lagoon – southwest) – both next to the brewery and over the bridge, there’s some nice boardwalks that are accessible and are great for birding at high tide. 


My last suggestion would be San Elijo Lagoon nature center loop: about 3/4 of a mile, very flat, packed dirt or wood boardwalk. It’s also near the coast and has lots of birds still even though it’s July. The San Elijo lagoon website lists the loop as being fully ADA accessible, for what it’s worth, and it’s always been well maintained when I’ve been there. Also, if it matters, Kit Carson and San Elijo both have restrooms but San Dieguito Lagoon does not. 


Hopefully this was helpful and I hope my descriptions weren’t too confusing! And also a disclaimer: I’m not a wheelchair user myself, so even though I try to keep an eye on accessibility features of places I go, I may have missed some details though I tried to check what I remembered with info online from park websites and AllTrails. 

Sarah Kukuchek 
San Diego (Rancho Bernardo area)