Trails mean different things to different people. For some, they are an outlet to the outdoors that offer solace – a place to hide from the noise of everyday life and a chance to re-center. They can be an escape from routine or a place to create new memories. Trailheads also vary in difficulty and views. In Carlsbad, trails are woven into the very core of our coastal landscape and they need to be taken care of. For as much as the outdoors give to us, we have to consider how we, too, can give back.
The outdoors endure whatever the earth throws at them, but it’s easy to forget that weather and foot traffic can make a huge impact on even the most rugged trailheads. When you’re on a scenic hike, it’s easy to want to veer off the beaten path and explore the unknown. What is hard to anticipate is the impact that this can have on the environment around us. Items can accidentally slip out of our backpacks,and our shoes can leave items that weren’t meant to exist off the trail. If you have explored the trails around Carlsbad, you will notice that there is often trash on the trails. Picking up items like cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and water bottle caps can go a long way in preserving nature and upholding the paths for future hikers.
Here are three popular hiking spots in Carlsbad and information about a volunteer cleanup event you can sign up for this month to help keep the trails clean.
The Aviara Trail system is one of the most popular and diverse set of trails in the city. Each hike has unique nature experiences and varying levels of difficulty. Of the five trails available, the Lagoon Trail is the most popular. It is a relatively easy 2.13 miles in length and runs along the water and the Aviara golf course. During the winter months, many different bird species migrate here to avoid the cold. Other trails within the system include the Eucalyptus Trail, which features groves of eucalyptus trees, the Black Sage Trail which was named after the native sage plant in the canyons and along the water’s edge, and the Salt Marsh Trail that runs through the low lying areas surrounding the lagoon and its slopes.
Hidden Canyon Park is a 22-acre park that has a large canyon cutting through it. The majority of the park is undeveloped, giving nature lovers tons of space to spread out and enjoy the greenery. There is a short trail within the park that connects it to the Ann D. L’Heureux Dog Park. The hike features scenic walking paths, with picnic tables and play areas.
The Veterans Park Trails offer a unique view of many of the most popular landmarks in Carlsbad. The trail head starts at the west end of the Crossings parking lot and is an unpaved path with views of the Flower Fields, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, LEGOLAND, and the City golf course. The loop is scenic and peaceful, and is accessible year-round. It offers a wide diversity of flora and fauna with trails that provide bird watching of egrets, herons, and waterfowl.
If you want to pitch in to help maintain Carlsbad hiking trails, the City of Carlsbad is hosting a Trail Volunteer Event on February 26th. The volunteer cleanup event is for nature lovers of all ages and will last from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. with an introductory session at Rancho Carrillo East. Guides will go over how to use cleanup tools and provide volunteers with shovels, rakes, shears, water, and McClouds.
Carlsbad is a picturesque location for trailblazing. Next time you want to get outside and enjoy the fresh air – try any one of these great trails and keep the path clean by volunteering at the city cleanup event on February 26th.