Nature Collective bridges link Solana Beach, Cardiff trails

A new bridge connects Solana Beach and Cardiff-by-the-Sea over the San Elijo Lagoon.

The coastal communities of Solana Beach and Cardiff-by-the-Sea are now connected by bridges over the San Elijo Lagoon, enhancing the public’s opportunity to escape into nature and explore lagoon life.

The new Nature Collective bridges, which opened in October, connect the Nature Center Loop Trail over San Elijo Lagoon’s Central Basin and onto trails and open space, including Harbaugh Seaside Trails and the Rios Trail in Solana Beach.

The section spanning from the nature center is named Buhr Nature Bridge in honor of the late Gabriel Buhr, a passionate voice to restore the San Elijo Lagoon. That connects to the Martin Nature Bridge, named in honor of the late Brian Martin, a renowned engineer and friend to the Nature Collective.

The bridges’ unique metal railings were designed to give the appearance of California cordgrass that grows across the wetlands.

The new bridge over the estuary opened in October 2020.

Right now is a great time to catch the winter colors from plants installed during the lagoon restoration—bright yellow Bush sunflowers and purple lupine are in bloom.

From Solana Beach using the Rios Trail, it’s about a three-mile round trip hike to the nature center. Find the Rios Avenue trail head on 126 Solana Circle Point Circle or hop on the trails from the popular Nature Center loop trail on 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Visitors are reminded to stay home if sick, avoid groups and gatherings, and to wear a facial covering if within six feet of others.

To learn more about Nature Collective and its trails and open spaces, visit