About Carlsbad Lagoon (Agua Hedionda) in Carlsbad, California
Agua Hedionda, a.k.a. Carlsbad Lagoon, is a saltwater lagoon near the ocean in Carlsbad. It’s made up of three areas that are divided by two bridges (Interstate 5 and a railroad bridge). The innermost lagoon is the largest and, lucky for us, it’s the one that can be used by the general public. On that part of the lagoon you can rent power boats of various types and launch human-powered watercraft too.
The only good public beach on Agua Hedionda is at the end of Bayshore Drive on the northeast shore. There people can fish, sunbathe, and launch personal watercraft like kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). If you don’t have your own craft then you can rent them at California Watersports (they have a beach and power boats for rent too). Even if you have your own kayak or SUP you will need to get a city permit for the day (you can get them online or at California Watersports).
The middle lagoon of Agua Hedionda is used by the YMCA for aquatic youth camps.
The outer lagoon (closest to the ocean) is used by the local water desalination plant and power generation plant. It’s also used for shellfish aquaculture and a fish hatchery so it’s off limits to the public.
Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the lagoon. They raise funds from memberships and local businesses to operate a visitors center known as the Discovery Center and to maintain hiking trails near the lagoon. Kids will love the Discovery Center as it has exhibits and is environmental education focused (1580 Cannon Rd, Carlsbad, CA).
- 4750 Bayshore Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008
- Park Name
- Public Lagoon
- City Access
- Pet Details
- Leashed dogs ok on land but not in the water
- Free street parking
- Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Boating, Fishing
- Lagoon, Trails, Rentals
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