Sen. Blakespear presents check for state funding to complete 50th mile of the Coast to Crest Trail

Local leaders celebrated state funding to complete the 1-mile Osuna Segment of the Coast to Crest Trail.
(Karen Billing)

The 71-mile trail will eventually provide a continuous off-road path from Del Mar to Julian for walkers, runners, hikers, bicyclists and equestrians


After she was elected to the Encinitas City Council in 2014, Catherine Blakespear appeared at the County Administration Building with her husband Jeremy to advocate for funding to complete the Coast to Crest Trail.

On Sept. 8, now in her first term as a state senator, Blakespear presented a $1.4 million check from the state budget to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority to complete the 1-mile Osuna Segment of the trail. Construction will begin in 2024.

She joined several other local leaders at Surf Sports Park off Via De La Valle, overlooking the future site of a 150-foot-long steel truss bridge across the San Dieguito River that will be part of that segment. The Osuna portion will also connect 4 miles of existing western lagoon trail segments to 27 miles of contiguous trail to the east.

The segment will include a steel truss bridge over the San Dieguito River.
(Karen Billing)

“When we can actually finish this project, it will be truly transformational,” Blakespear said.

When completed, the Coast to Crest Trail will provide the region with a continuous 71-mile path from Del Mar to Julian for hikers, bikers and equestrians.

“You can travel on foot, on a horse, do sections of it alone, go the whole distance,” Blakespear said. “There are really no parallels to that here in San Diego County.”

About 49 miles have been completed so far.

“It’s about preserving and protecting the river valley and providing public access,” said Shawna Anderson, executive director of the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. “This 1-mile segment of Coast to Crest Trail doesn’t sound very long, but it’s been a long time in the various planning stages.”

There are 21 other gaps in the Coast to Crest Trail, Anderson added.

“We’ve got a whole consultant team working to design the trail in those gaps, and we’re going to finish this trail,” she said. “It’s going to be a reality.”

The JPA’s board of directors includes representatives from the cities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Escondido, Poway, and the county government.

The other elected officials in attendance at the check ceremony, including current and former Del Mar City Council members, emphasized the collaboration from multiple levels of government to continue making progress on the trail.

“With the River Park extending into Solana Beach, Escondido, Poway, and the far-reaching headwaters of the unincorporated areas of San Diego County, this is a shared bond we have to manage and maintain,” said San Diego City Councilmember Joe LaCava, chair of the River Park JPA board of directors.

He added, “All it takes is a visit here to make someone a lifelong supporter of this resource.”