Lindo Lake is one of Lakeside’s beloved attractions and a wonderful spot for the entire family. Believe it or not, Lindo Lake is actually the only natural lake in San Diego County. In the 1800’s the town of Lakeside was built around it.
Lindo Lake has had many faces over the decades, including a 2 mile racetrack that circled around it in the early 1900’s. Famous drivers who raced on this historic track included legendary Barney Oldfield. One of the racetrack’s turns can still be seen behind the baseball fields where Chestnut St. & Lindo Ln. meet.
In the 1960’s the creek that fed water to the lake was cut off and over time the quality of water has gone down. There is a massive restoration project currently going on that will help to rehabilitate the health of the lake.
The boathouse is one of the historical features that you can visit. Built in 1887, this designated historical site was one of the selling features of the lake when it was first built. Today it is still a wonderful spot hang out at or rent for private events:
Features at Lindo Lake include family and group picnic areas, dance ramada, a skate park, children’s playground, a softball field, 17 physical fitness stations, a butterfly garden, horseshoe pits and tennis courts. There is also a library and Community & Teen Center which constantly hosts fun activities.
The lake is split into two basins, with the west carrying most of its water and the east serving as an overflow area following heavy rain. Waterfowl are common on site; herons, pelicans, egrets, geese, ruddy ducks, and American Coots – not to mention rare species like Cinnamon Teal, Stilts and Avocets.
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart rocked the entire nation when it happened. Although she was abducted from her home in Utah, her abductors actually took her down to San Diego for a few months. The main abductor, Brian David Mitchell, and his wife were transients and would sleep in a canyon near Lindo Lake and were often seen at the lake in the daytime.
The 3 wore robes that covered their entire body and face except for their eyes. Although people would side eye the trio, nobody suspected any of them could be the girl who was missing in Utah. Thankfully her story ended positively with the abductors in jail and she has gone on to live an empowering life.