Guided Nature Walks at Mission Trails


Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) volunteers provide free regular interpretive walks to foster appreciation of the park and its natural environment. Join our volunteer Trail Guides on these walks to explore nature’s splendor as well as the historical, and cultural aspects of Mission Trails. Walks are open to the public and no reservations are required. The trails used are easy but have uneven surfaces and some involve steps. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, and apply sunscreen to protect from the UV rays. Walks are canceled if raining. For more information about the walks, see our Events Calendar. To schedule a special walk for your group, please contact Ranger Steven Blankenship at at least 10 days in advance of the date you would like to have your walk.

From the Visitor Center:

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30-11AM

Join an MTRP Trail Guide on a guided nature walk and learn about the plants, animals, geology, history, and ecology of the park on one of these scenic trails:

  • Oak Grove Loop showcasing majestic coast live oaks and rare Engelmann’s oaks.
  • Visitor Center Loop highlighting coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian woodland habitats.
  • Grinding Rocks Trail featuring one of the archaeological sites in the park.

The park is constantly changing, so join us to learn new things on walks throughout the year.


From Kumeyaay Lake Campground

Second and fourth Saturday of every month, 8:30-10AM

Explore the area around Kumeyaay Lake Campground and the Grasslands Trail which leads to a Kumeyaay grinding rocks site and the picturesque Old Mission Dam overlook. Learn from park volunteers about the plants, animals, geology, history, and ecology of the park. Walks may include a visit to the lush riparian habitat of the Kumeyaay Lake shoreline, a portion of scenic Oak Canyon, or the historic Old Mission Dam. Walks start from the Kumeyaay Lake Campground Entry Station on the second and fourth Saturday of every month at 8:30AM.


Family Discovery Walks

Third Saturday of each month, 1-2:30PM

Family Walks have a hiatus from July through September.

These walks are a great way for families to spend together outdoors and learn about nature. Each month’s walk has a different theme and children will receive a nature journal and sticker. Meet at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground Day Use parking lot.


Wildlife Tracking Walks

First Saturday of every month, 8:30-10:30AM

Join experienced MTRP Tracking Team members for an adventure in wildlife tracking on the Oak Grove Loop Trail. Learn the art of discovering and identifying tracks and other signs left behind by the park’s seldom-seen wildlife. These easy walks are suitable for the whole family. Walks start from the front of the Visitor Center on the first Saturday of every month at 8:30AM.


Bird Walks

Third Friday and Saturday of every month, 8-10AM

Join our Trail Guides for adventures in bird watching! Discover some of the many resident and migratory birds in different areas of the park. These walks take place in various locations around Mission Trails; please check the Events Calendar for each month’s location. Bring binoculars and/or a field guide if you have them.


Special Walks

Any day, any time, any place in the park – can be arranged for scouts, clubs, or other organizations of any fitness or mobility level. Contact Ranger Steven Blankenship at Please make requests at least ten days in advance.

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