Welcome to Jack's Pond Park & Nature Center


All folks of all ages are welcome to encounter the many wonders of this natural, rustic learning and hiking habitat. Trained, knowledgeable docents or a City of San Marcos Wildlife Specialist will be available for direction or questions during this time.

Open Hours

General Info 

About Jack's Pond 


Schools, Groups
& Birthday

Safety & Rules

Jack's Pond Building

Open Hours

Saturdays & Sundays 10 AM - 1 PM. Free of charge
For more information, please call (760) 744-9000
Located at 986 La Moree RdClick on image for virtual tour.

General Information and Features

About Jack's Pond Nature Center

The Jack's Pond Nature Center promotes understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of nature by using the Jacks Pond Park and Trail as an interactive window to the San Marcos environment. The Jack's Pond Nature Center's Mission Statement is to provide information about local habitats, plants, animals, geology, and cultural history in educational and enjoyable ways. Jack’s Pond Nature Center offers a K-5 curriculum-based science and outdoor education program with hands-on nature study, interpretive hike and more! Jack’s Pond Park is a 23-acre park with picnic areas, a tot lot and Jack’s Pond Nature Center.

Jack's Pond Nature Center

The Nature Center is a work in progress.  Our target age is "all inclusive" (child as well as adult learning levels.) The exhibits will rotate on a regular basis to keep them fresh and open to new areas of interest.  Visitor and Community input is valued and will be incorporated into the Center's projects. We aim to integrate community groups into the ongoing functioning of the Center so that it truly reflects community needs and interests related to environmental stewardship.


Local and outside groups have contributed to the displays at the Nature Center.  The Palomar Audubon Society has created a display on birds and their habitats. San Marcos School Science classes will contribute displays and exhibits from their science fairs and other class projects.  Cal State University San Marcos student science teachers designed learning stations with the help of local high school students.

Jack’s Pond Nature Center offers hands-on nature study, hikes & a curriculum-based outdoor education program. It is the perfect place for a field trip, birthday party or scout meeting.

Jacks Pond Nature Center Use Application 
Jacks Pond Directions
Jacks Pond Field Trip Safety
Native Plants of Jacks Pond
 8 on City Trail Map
 View Jack's Pond Trail Map
 San Marcos Residents  Non-Residents

$2.00/person (Schools in SMUSD. Non-profits)
$3.00/person (Private Groups)

$2.50/person (Schools. Non-Profits)
$3.50/person (Private Groups)

Prices are for two hours of Center time. Groups must pay for a minimum of 25 (1 free leader per 10 paid for non-profit groups).

For more information, contact San Marcos Community Services at (760) 744-9000.

Jack's Pond and Stream Rules

  • No swimming or wading is allowed.
  • Fishing is allowed only from shorelines.
    • The City recommends catch and release fishing with barbless hooks.
    • A fishing license is required for all individuals over the age of 16 years.
  • No boats, inflatables or rafts are allowed.
  • No gas powered model boats or airplanes (tethered or by remote control) allowed at any public park, except in an area designated by the Community Services Commission as part of a specific park regulation, or by special permit.