There are still plenty of nature events going on despite the closure of national wildlife refuge and federal facilities. Here is a list of what areas are officially closed and what areas are still open in the San Diego area during the weekend of October 11-13, 2013. All events are free unless a fee is otherwise mentioned.
Though the Tijuana Natural Estuarine Research Reserve is closed, the visitor’s center and the trails immediately nearby are still open because they are managed by the California State Parks. However, according to their website, all activities and programs are currently canceled. The nearby National Wildlife refuge trails are also closed, but bird watching may still be possible from the bike path and other nearby areas normally accessible to the public and residents. Very little information is available about restrictions and closures in this or other refuges in the San Diego area. Please obey any “area closed” or “trail closed” signs that may be posted.
There are other parks and areas in San Diego that are not affected by the government shut down. San Diego Audubon will host a walk at Whelan Lake in Oceanside on Saturday, October 12th beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 11 a.m. Take the I-5 to CA-76E and go north on Douglas Drive. After about two miles, turn left on North River road and continue through the gate and the dirt road. For more information, call John Haddock, Jack Friery or Chris Smith at 760-518-8524 for more details.
Mission Trails Regional Park is open for all its usual activities. This weekend, they will have their usual guided nature walks on Saturday, October 12th, at 8:30 a.m. at the Kumeyaay campground and their 9:30 a.m. nature walk beginning at their visitor’s center. On Sunday, October 13th, they will have their usual 9:30 a.m. from the visitor’s center and Native American flute players will be there at 1 p.m.
The Living Coast Discovery Center is still open for business, though there is an entry fee of $14 for adults and $9 for children between 4 and 17 (children under 3 are free). The center hosts many animals and plants native to the San Diego area. It is unknown if the government shut down has affected the outside trails surrounding the center which are part of the Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge.