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Encinitas Ranch Area Trails



The popular Encinitas Ranch area trail network features a variety of trail experiences.  The popular Ranch Loop is approximately 2 miles and features vistas to the east, interpretive signage, multiple access points and is suitable for joggings strollers.  From the main loop, one can explore other area trails north to the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course and east to the Encinitas Town Center.  A good way to access the trails is to park at Las Verdes park, located off of Quail Gardens Drive, north of Encinitas Blvd. Across the street from the park, spot the trailhead marker, then head counterclockwise heading north along the ridgeline then around and through Encinitas Ranch to complete an almost 5K loop back to where you began.

While the main trails are mostly wide paths and not technical, many connecting trails feature some steep sections with stair step features. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes with good traction and watch your step!

Good For
Rules & Regulation
Dogs Permitted With Restrictions
No Horses

Additional Information

Explore Encinitas' Wilder Side!

The City of Encinitas and its residents value the importance of nature and open space. Encinitas boasts abundant opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy a hike or some quiet time in nature. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is responsible for 85 acres of open space and 40 miles of trails. The City's Recreational Trails Master Plan includes plans to develop an additional 40 miles of trails and pedestrian connections throughout the City.

City trails provide pedestrian, bicycle and/or equestrian access to undeveloped open spaces such as Indian Head Canyon and Manchester Preserve. The Olivenhain community enjoys an extensive network of trails relative to other parts of the City. The Encinitas Ranch Specific Plan area has a great trail system as well. The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve includes approximately five miles of trails managed by the County of San Diego, which serve City residents and visitors.

Report Issues

Report problems such as washed out bridges, downed trees, dangerous ruts, vandalism, dead animals or unsafe conditions to the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department at (760) 633-2740 or Report sick, injured or dangerous animals and dogs off-leash to the San Diego Humane Society (619) 243-3446

Using the Trails

The City of Encinitas' 40-plus miles of trails are meant to be enjoyed and shared with other humans, with their dogs and horses, and with the creatures who inhabit the surrounding natural environment. 

Trail Users 

Most trails are open to hikers (also joggers, walkers and runners with jogging strollers), bicyclists and equestrians. Unless otherwise noted, all trails are open to all three user groups. Olivenhain trails attract the greatest diversity of users. Horses are not permitted on the Encinitas Ranch Trails or Manchester Preserve Trails, which are owned by the Center for Natural Lands Management and operated by the City of Encinitas. Bicyclists are not permitted on some of the Encinitas Ranch Trails. 

General Rules 

Please take note of the rules posted on signs at trail heads and access points. These include:

· Trail hours are sunrise to sunset

· No littering or dumping. Please use the trash receptacles located along pathways or dispose of your refuse when you leave

· Dogs must be leashed. People must pick up after their pets

· No fires or smoking

· No camping

Trail Etiquette

Share the Trails

· Cyclists yield to all other trail users

· On busy trails, proceed single file. Slower traffic should keep right of the trail; faster users pass on the left

· If you are using headphones, make sure that the volume neither prevents you from hearing what is happening around you or disturbs other trails users

· When passing other trail users, use courtesy and provide adequate warning and reduce speed

· It is recommended that cyclists use a bell on multi-user trailsBicyclists Should:

· Announce their presence, whether approaching from the front or rear, within reasonable distance so they can be heard. Say "bicyclist approaching."Hikers and Joggers with Dog(s) Should:

· Keep dogs on 6-foot leash at all times

· Clean up after pets

Respect the Trails

· Please stay off of wet, soggy trails. Footprints and bicycle tire tracks damage the trail surface. Give trails time to dry after rains.

· When on bicycle, avoid skidding

· Don’t cut corners, shortcuts or blaze new trailsPack it in-Pack it out

· Keep our trails and open spaces clean. Use trash receptacles located along pathways or dispose of your trash when you leave

General Park Information

Park hours are 5am - 10pm unless stated otherwise. Beach parkingand amenities hours are 5am - 10pm. Beach is closed 2am - 4am. Please no glasscontainers, polystyrene food containers or smoking allowed at City parks,beaches and trails. Dogs must be on a leash at all times unless otherwise noted.

Allparks are available on a first come, first served basis. Special Event andSpecial Ceremony Permits are available for select locations (see specific siteinformation below). More information on special permits is available on the Rentals andReservations page. Please call (760) 633-2740 to check foravailability.

City of Encinitas Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department isresponsible for a wide range of services for the City including recreationprograms, city-wide special events, park, beach and recreational trailmaintenance, management of open space, streetscape maintenance, animalservices, and oversight of the administration of the Encinitas Ranch GolfAuthority.

TheParks, Beaches and Trails Division is responsible for the maintenance andrepair of all parks, beach and trail facilities, including 10 miles ofstreetscapes, 82 acres of open space, 153 acres of both developed andundeveloped parks, 45 acres of beaches, and over 40 miles of trails. We hopethat you enjoy getting out and exploring Encinitas’ trails and beautiful openspaces.