Runners, walkers and naturalists will find a haven in the Batiquitos Lagoon. Bordered on the northern side by the Batiquitos Trail system, the 561 acre lagoon is protected by municipal ordinances as a game sanctuary and bird estuary. The lagoon is owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Originally, Batiquitos Lagoon was open to the ocean. Over time, construction of public transportation corridors and other development resulted in sediment closing the lagoon. Thanks to a massive enhancement project conducted in the mid-1990s by the City of Carlsbad, Port of Los Angeles and other cooperating agencies, it is open to the ocean again.
The lagoon is home to many different wildlife species, including plants, fish and birds. Endangered birds such as the Snowy Plover, California Least Tern and Clapper Rail have been spotted there.
The public walking and hiking trail along the lagoon’s north shore is currently 1.3 miles long, and additional trail segments are planned. The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation offers many different docent-led walks along the trail from its nature center at 7380 Gabbiano Lane. The foundation also provides informational pamphlets for self-guided nature walks. There are several access points to the north shore trail, primarily along Batiquitos Drive. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be leashed at all times.
For those with a license, fishing is permitted only at the rock jetties at the mouth of the lagoon in South Ponto Beach and the rocks under I-5 (east or west of the freeway, on the north side only).
Club Pelican, a nature and arts summer camp sponsored by the City of Carlsbad and the Batiquitos Foundation, is also held at the lagoon.