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Meandering through the Walker Preserve and Lakeside's River Park Conservancy, this multiuse trail follows the San Diego River from the City of Santee to the community of Lakeside. This 3.3-mile pathway is wide, mostly flat with a few small hills, and fairly smooth with its surface of crushed granite. It is likely accessible for those using mobility aids, but please note the dusty surface and the slightly narrow Lakeside entrance to the trail. The western half of this trail is known as the Walker Preserve Trail and the eastern half is known as the River Park Trail, but they connect seamlessly.
Open from dawn to dusk, the trail offers great opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, and biking. There is a bicycle repair station, benches, a picnic shelter at Magnolia entrance and a shaded picnic area at Pepper Tree Grove, and restrooms are available midway along the trail at Lakeside Baseball Park (10030 Marathon Pkwy, Lakeside). The Preserve also has additional paths open for equestrian use.
When you get hot and thirsty on the trail, there is a mister for cooling off and drinking fountains for pets and humans. Dogs on leashes are welcome and there are pet waste bag stations. Exact restroom and water locations are marked on the TrailLink map.
For those interested in the history of the area, there are historic farm and mining artifacts on display, history-themed murals, and interpretive panels with both history and nature facts. Along the route, the trail passes under several bridges where you can find murals with scenes from the area's history.
Bordered by greenery, the trail offers gorgeous views over the water with rolling hills and purple mountains in the distance. Experience the trail for yourself and enjoy California's beautiful landscape.
There is on-street parking on Magnolia Ave, a parking lot midway along the trail (10030 Marathon Parkway, Lakeside), and a crushed granite parking lot with accessible spaces at the east end of the trail (10354 Channel Rd, Lakeside). View the TrailLink map for all parking options and detailed directions.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!