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Santa Margarita River Trail

Santa Margarita River Trail is a dog-friendly, 5-mile path in Fallbrook, CA. Enjoy varying terrain and beautiful views. Visitors are often surprised to see so many broad water impoundments along the river which are the work of the California golden beaver. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Visit Website

Or call (909) 372-0138 or email southcoastpreserves@wildlandsconservancy.org for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Santa Margarita River Trail has received a rating of 3.8 out of 5 bones by 6 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Jac
    Aug 21, 2022
    Great hike !

    we did a 4 mile hike with our small dogs and had a blast! if you park in the county preserve lot and hike to the main trail then you do have to cross a small stream multiple times and the sand is super thick and difficult to walk through. my dogs loved it but it sucked taking your socks and shoes off and putting them back on. also be aware of coyotes and wild life. we ran into a ranger on our hike that was tracking down a coyote.

    the main trail was amazing !! it was so beautiful and peaceful . my dogs loved it and loved seeing other people, dogs, and horses ! i can’t wait to hike here again !

  • Rebecca
    Apr 19, 2022
    Nice river hike!

    We've gone to this trail 3 times in the last month with our pup. There are a lot of options so your hike can be as easy or challenging as you like! If you want to cross the river, be prepared to take off your shoes/boots and bring a towel to dry off. Our dog loved jumping in the water and it felt great! Be prepared, though, it is spring and I had to de-tick my dog afterwards. There is also a lot of poison oak, so just know how to identify it to keep yourself and your dog away. There is none right on the trail. Also, arrive early since the parking lot fills up!

  • Julie
    Jun 15, 2019
    Warning: hot sand and foxtails

    We came here for the first time based on the reviews but it was a disaster for our German Spitz who found the sand too hot for his paws. He jumped off the trail to a shaded patch of dry grass and rolled in it to find some relief. So, this grass is full of barbed, needle things that immediately embedded in his sense fur , between his toes, everywhere! I was getting stabbed with them too when I picked him up. We didn't make it far before this happened, so we walked back to the car and pulled out as many as we could but we needed professional help. In Fallbrook we found Fallbrook Pet Parlor. They absolutely saved the day. Next time, we will take Otie to the Pet Parlor and home the trail without him.

  • Tracy
    Mar 17, 2019
    Great Trail

    The trail is amazing, I had my two dogs and everyone was friendly there. There’s plenty of access to the river and the water is calm. Had an amazing time

  • Tim
    More than a year ago
    Fun trails

    Had a great hike to the summit, and down by the creek. Was able to let the pup off the leash for a while when there was no one around, but beware of other hikers. Had a great time playing fetch in the water.

  • Molly
    More than a year ago
    Be aware..

    I found about 10 ticks total on my two dogs. The dogs loved the hike but my day was ruined picking ticks and being paranoid after the hike..I won't be returning in Spring/Early Summer as I have read thats when they come out. I would rather avoid the hassle

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We dug up 4 pictures of dogs at Santa Margarita River Trail.

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Santa Margarita River Trail