Batiquitos Lagoon, located between the coastal cities of Carlsbad and Encinitas, is one of the few remaining tidal wetlands in Southern California. This zone is a habitat for numerous species of threatened or endangered plants and animals and is managed as a preserve by the California Department of Fish and Game.
Near the trailhead at the western end of the lagoon is a nature center run by volunteers of the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation. Apart from hosting events and guest speakers, they offer free trail maps and information about the unique riparian ecosystem. From the nature center, the path follows the northern perimeter of the lagoon for nearly 2 miles. With only a few gentle hills and many benches along the way, the trail is very family friendly. Groves of palm and eucalyptus trees provide shade, and large wading birds including great blue herons and snowy egrets can be seen from the trail year round. There are five man-made sand nesting sites across Batiquitos Lagoon that were built for endangered species such as the California least tern and the western snowy plover. In addition to providing a habitat for many types of birds, Batiquitos Lagoon features countless species of wildflowers.