Coronado has a Solstice Clock!
Made it just in time for the sun to set on Winter Solstice!
A 9 mile Bike Path runs next to a dirt trail in Coronado, California. The trail, known as Nature’s Bridge to Discovery, is full of surprises.
This pedestrian pathway gains significance—and visitor numbers—twice a year, during the summer and winter solstices, thanks to a circle of benches built along the trail. The benches form a solstice clock, designed by San Diego-based Schmidt Design Group and artist Paul Hobson. Stamped with the words “Time,” “Continuance,” and “Change,” the artwork marks the exact spot where the sun will set during the solstices.
“The openings in the benches line up with some patterns in the concrete that point to where the sun sets on the winter and summer solstice,” says Glen Schmidt, president of Schmidt Design Group. He calls the installation a “mini Stonehenge.”
The Silver Strand is home to several threatened or endangered species of birds and other wildlife.
In 1999, Schmidt Design Group was tasked with creating the pedestrian trail. “It struck us that Coronado has a physical bridge from downtown over to the city, but the Silver Strand is like nature’s bridge. And so we named this Nature’s Bridge to Discovery,” says Schmidt.
Walking north on the trail from its southern end, the solstice clock is the first of a number of art installations and overlooks you’ll encounter. A compass rose at the center of the circle points out which way is north, south, east, and west. Letters along a big X in the ground spell out which way the sun sets during the summer and winter solstices, respectively.
The installations along Nature’s Bridge to Discovery are designed specifically with this area’s unique natural features and cultural history in mind. There’s an overlook in the shape of a spiral, which symbolizes wind, in honor of the area’s Native American history. A sculpture documents the journey of the California least tern, an endangered, migratory bird that makes its way to San Diego from South America each year. And a deck in the shape of a blade of grass overlooks the marshlands surrounding the Silver Strand.
Thanks for the heads-up Sanna Boman at Road Tripper