The David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge is along the Coast to Crest Trail. There are many hiking opportunities in the area, but this is a short hike that crosses the bridge and provides excellent bird-watching opportunities.
Starting Point: 19140 W Bernardo Dr OR 12655 Sunset Dr. Escondido, CA 92025
Length: 3 miles
Elevation: 100 ft gain and loss
The Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge and surrounding area is part of the San Dieguito River Park. This park was established in 1989 as a protected area that runs 55-miles from the beach at Del Mar to Volcan Mountain near Julian.
When completed the Coast to Crest Trail will run 70 miles through the heart of the park. As of 2019, 48 miles have been completed. There are another 20 miles of auxiliary trails that split off from the main trail. The Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge is part of these auxiliary trails right off the main trail.
This is an out-and-back hike which you start at either end. We start at the Bernardo Bay Parking Lot off of W. Bernardo Dr and hike to Sikes Adobe. This means the minor uphill portion comes at the end.
There is plenty of free parking around both Bernardo Bay and on the other end, at Sikes Adobe. This is a flat hike and is also very popular for mountain bikes. There are kiosks where you can pick up brochures and hiking guides.
Around the Bernardo Bay parking lot there are several other hiking trails we will cover separately. This takes you along the south portion of Lake Hodges. For this hike, you simply follow the trail as it parallels West Bernardo Dr downhill towards the bridge.
The David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge is the longest stress-ribbon bridge in the world. It is 990-feet long and opened in 2009. On the north side of the bridge, you will see billboards with information on the history of this bridge and older bridges around Lake Hodges.
Lake Hodges is a reservoir created with the building of the Lake Hodges Dam in 1918. The level of the lake varies greatly based on how much rain has occurred. During times of drought, the area around Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge can be dry.
In winter 2019, San Diego received a great deal of rain and the lake waters reached not only the Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge but the I-15 interstate a short distance east. Spring 2019 was a perfect time for hiking this area.
Lake Hodges has become a major stop for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. The Pacific Flyway runs from Alaska to the southern end of South America. This makes Lake Hodges a bird watcher paradise.
When we hiked across the Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge in spring 2019 there were dozens of bird nests filled with eggs. Most of these nests were located in the area between the bridge and the I-15 interstate.
Once you cross the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge you turn right towards the freeway and Sikes Adobe. Turning left will take you along Lake Hodges and is part of a longer hike we do.
The trail crosses directly under interstate 15 and turns left to parallel the interstate. This segment of the trail ends a short distance ahead at Sikes Adobe.
Sikes Adobe is a historic house built around 1870. They are in the process of building this into a complete historic farmstead. Currently, tours are available on Sundays from 10:30 to 3:30. During this time there is also the North San Diego Farmer’s Market going on in the park.
At this point, we turn around and go back. There are, of course, other trails extending from this area and you can combine those for longer hikes.
For more detailed hikes on the Coast to Crest Trail go here.
For a longer hike from Sikes Adobe along north Lake Hodges go here.