Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

Jack's Pond Nature Center

986 La Moree Rd.
San Marcos, CA 92078

33.131660, -117.140860

Dog-Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes


About Jack’s Pond Nature Center

Jack’s Pond is a nice family spot or place to walk your dog. Enjoy 23 acres of woodsy hiking trails and a pond which, at the time we visited, was looking quite sad. We need rain! The pond is home to bluegill, catfish, large-mouth bass and crappie fish.

Jack’s Pond was actually built in the 1930’s to served as an extra water supply. It was named after the caretaker of the grounds, Jack Nieswonger.  The park that we see today opened in 2000 and is owned by the City of San Marcos.

Jack's Pond Nature Center

While you’re in the area, make sure to visit Double Peak Park nearby!

General Information and Features

* Trail connection to Jack’s Pond
* Picnic areas
* Restrooms & Tot lot
* Nature Center
* 23 acres (7.31 developed first phase)
* Adventure Day Camp at Jack’s Pond Recreation Center

You can spot a variety plant life throughout the park, including prickly pear cactus, olive trees, pepper trees, sagebrush, oak trees and eucalyptus trees. Common wild animals include ducks, other aquatic birds, rabbits and lizards.

There is a playground for children and picnic tables for lunches. Propane barbecues are allowed in designated picnic areas only. Charcoal and wood fires are not permitted. There was a nature center which was closed when we visited. Boo! It was fun to explore nonetheless.

The barns were unfortunately closed when we visited although pretty darn photogenic!

Because of the severe drought we’ve had, the pond has receded dramatically:

I found a Little Free Library here!

Here is a shot of the pond in 2019 after a wonderful, rainy winter!

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5 Reviews

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5 Reviews


  • Go kill yourself
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I meant f__k

    October 17, 2017

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    This looks Cool!

    April 16, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I remember going there as a teen, had a rope swing into the water back then

    August 11, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I also remember swimming there and the rope swing hanging from a huge eucalyptus tree mid 1980’s while still in high school. We went 4 wheeling a dirt trail from Craven rd to get there. And there wasn’t much development then, just mostly country as San Marcos once was.

    October 15, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    @Anonymous, Rope swing is still there. That’s crazy. Do you know who made it? My friends and (several girlfriends) used to hang out down there back in middle/highschool circa 2010. Good times.

    May 12, 2020

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