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  Reach the Beach
Stu Smith | Rimini Road

 

Thoroughbred Trainer Charlie Whittingham works his horse on a Del Mar Beach. After he won the Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, a lot of DM horsemen started taking their horses to the beach. Courtesy Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

 

Will it be possible to continue the 55-mile long Coast to Crest trail from Jimmy Durante Blvd. west to the beach? Del Mar residents are meeting with San Dieguito River Park staff trying to come up with an answer. Staff hopes this section of the trail will accommodate hikers, bicyclists and equestrians, reviving earlier times when trainers would bring the racehorses to the beach in the early mornings. But what is the best way to go, on the north or south side of the River?

North of the river, the trail would go west along the southern edge of the Fairgrounds property. The recent certification of the Fairgrounds master plan by the 22nd Agriculture District board on April 18th includes a 100-foot wide greenway, plenty of space for a trail.

But continuing the trail west from the Fairgrounds, after going under the Railroad tracks, becomes more difficult. The trail could continue across the wetlands east of Camino Del Mar with a boardwalk like the one near Jimmy Durante Blvd. bridge. But part of this wetland area is going to be dredged to increase the tidal flow in and out of the lagoon, and it is unlikely that the Coastal Commission would approve a boardwalk across the remaining wetland if other possibilities for the trail location exist. Or, the trail could change direction at the wetlands and move north toward Via de Valle crossing Camino Del Mar to reach the beach.

On the south side of the river there is the existing Del Mar River Path that goes from Jimmy Durante Blvd. west to the Railroad tracks and an informal path continuing beyond to Camino del Mar. However, getting beyond the tracks is a problem because there is not enough clearance to go under the trestle and a pedestrian bridge over the tracks would be expensive and intrusive.

The Park is hoping to finish the “Del Mar section” of the extraordinary Coast to Crest trail, by the end of the year. When the entire 55-miles (as the crow flies) is completed, it will stretch from the beach in Del Mar to the headwaters of the San Dieguito River on Volcan Mountain in the Laguna’s. In the meantime reaching the beach is a real challenge.

Del Mar Library Exhibit: Images of America

The exhibition will display 32 books from Arcadia Publishing Company, including Del Mar Racetrack, where the picture above was found. Arcadia Publishing specializes in chronicling the history of local communities and bringing to life the people, places and events of the past. Employing local authors, the books are primarily pictorial histories augmented by expanded captions or short blocks of text. The exhibit will open in May.

 

 
 

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