Otay Valley Regional Park will host its first-ever parkwide community event and open the long-awaited link between the park’s 8-mile trail system and the 26-mile Bayshore Bikeway on June 4—National Trails Day.
The first annual “Discover Otay Valley Regional Park,” will feature activities at seven different areas of Western Otay Valley Regional Park, a 2,000-acre open space in San Diego and Chula Vista with 8.2 miles of trails.
“Over the years, devoted volunteers and three jurisdictions have nurtured and improved Otay Valley, but even people who live nearby don’t always realize there’s beautiful park with a long trail system along the Otay River,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “We hope new families, bike riders, hikers and horseback riders will “discover” the improved park at this event.
“And the Bayshore Bikeway link means residents and visitors can wheel in all the way from San Diego, and more South Bay residents than ever can access the path close to home,” Cox said.
The Bayshore Bikeway goes around San Diego Bay. The Otay Valley park trail-system will link at the park’s western edge.
The “Discover” lineup includes guided hikes and horseback rides, public safety displays, a ”poker hike and ride contest,” nature talks, a bird watching walk, information booths and youth activities. Supervisor Cox, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, Chula Vista Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan and San Diego District 8 Councilman David Alvarez will kick off the day at the park’s ranger station.
With four ponds and a variety of habitats—including riparian woodland, coastal sage scrub, and maritime succulent scrub—Otay Valley Regional Park supports an abundance of wildlife, including 200 species of birds, gray foxes, American badgers and the pacific tree frog.
A joint planning and management effort between the County of San Diego and the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, the park in recent years has added numerous trails and connections, staging areas and native plants.
For more information, visit OVRP.org.
Discover Otay Valley Regional Park Events
OVRP Ranger Station – 2155 Beyer Boulevard, San Diego
Kick-off, 9 a.m. with County Supervisor Greg Cox, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, Chula Vista Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan and City of San Diego District 8 Councilman David Alvarez. Guided nature walk, 10:30 a.m. Presentation, Otay Valley’s Native American history, 11 a.m. Also, environmental and conservation information booths.
Mace Street Staging Area – 200 Mace St., Chula Vista
Bonita Valley Horsemen-led ride, 10 a.m. Participants must bring their own horses. Parking in the staging area is limited to horse trailers.
Saturn Boulevard Staging Area – 500 Saturn Blvd., San Diego
Public Safety Focus
The San Diego Fire Department, the San Diego Police Department, and the Otay Valley Regional Park Rangers explain their important safety role in the park and show off fire trucks and police cars.
Beyer Way Staging Area – 200 Beyer Way, San Diego
Wildlife Protection Focus
I Love a Clean San Diego and the Chula Vista Animal Shelter provide information on protecting the Valley’s sensitive environment and native animals while hosting fun activities.
Rios Avenue Staging Area – 1700 Rios Ave., Chula Vista
Historical and Community Services Focus
San Diego Audubon Society-hosted bird walk, 8 a.m. Bring your own binoculars. Ranger-led Otay Valley history hike, 1 p.m. Also, Chula Vista Centennial Celebration.
Finney Overlook – 3925 Byrd St., San Diego
Ranger-led nature hike from the top of the Finney trail to the valley floor, 11:00 a.m. Wildcoast and Habitat Heroes lead a variety of youth activities.
Hollister Street Staging Area – 300 Hollister St., San Diego
Landscaping and Native Plants Focus
The San Diego Native Plant Society and the Terra Bella Nursery display native plants and teach home landscaping.
Poker Ride and Hike
Starts at the Saturn Blvd. staging area, just after the 9 a.m. kickoff. Hikers and bikers of all ages can compete for prizes donated by REI. Build a “poker hand” with a card at each of five pit stops along the park trail. The contest concludes at the ranger station at 1:30 p.m. with prizes for the best hands—and the worst!