Nature Study

Your Mission Trails Adventure Begins Here!

Interpretive nature walks are offered to enhance your appreciation of our open space and the unique beauty of San Diego's natural environment. Join our Trail Guides on these walks to investigate first hand nature's splendor as well as the historical, and cultural aspects of the Park. Walks are free and are open to the public with no reservations required. The trails used are easy, but have uneven surfaces and some involve steps. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and a hat, put on sunscreen, and bring water. Walks are canceled if raining.

From the Visitor Center: Trail Guides choose from three trails. The Oak Grove Trail leads to a small oak woodland with majestic coast live oaks and rare Engelmann oaks. The Visitor Center Loop Trail takes you through coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian woodland habitats. The Riverside Grinding Site Trail leads to one of the archaeological sites in the park: grinding rocks used by the Kumeyaay Indians for food preparation.
Every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, 9:30-11:00 a.m.

From the Campground: Trail Guides explore the east side of the park on the Grasslands Trail with stops at a Kumeyaay grinding rocks site and the picturesque Old Mission Dam overlook. Walks may include a visit to the lush riparian habitat of the Kumeyaay Lake shoreline, or a portion of scenic Oak Canyon, or the historic Old Mission Dam.
2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, and go from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Special Walks: a special walk can be arranged for scouts, clubs or other organizations of any fitness or mobility level.  Contact Ranger Chris Axtmann at 619-668-3277 or

For more information on walks, talks and other events in the park go to
the Events Calendar.