To stop incidents of vandalism, drug use, and fires at Adobe Falls, SDSU authorities have posted "No Trespassing" signs and increased patrols on the land owned by the university.
Campus police community liaison Briana Drost made her report at the July 24 Del Cerro Action Council meeting.
"I've worked here eight years, and in the last six months [illegal activity] exploded," she said. "A lot of people are trespassing. A lot are innocent college-age children who hike. There are also not-so-innocent types doing drugs."
The SDSU police is using social media to advise that "Hiking this area is not sanctioned and trespassing on this land is a violation of California penal code section 602." Drost posted the messages under Jerry Schad's 1997 "Roam-o-Rama" article about Adobe Creek Falls and the Adobe Falls page on Jessica Johnson's Hidden San Diego website.
Johnson's photographs include images of graffiti-covered boulders. There is also graffiti inside the "tunnel" (a storm drain) under Interstate 8 that leads from Adobe Falls to SDSU.
Drost's posts are a variation of a police Facebook message: "The 'Adobe Falls' hike exists on land that is owned by San Diego State University. Unfortunately, there have been an increasing number of incidents in this canyon recently (including illegal activity and serious injuries requiring medical rescue). The SDSU Police Department is making it a priority to prevent and mitigate these public safety issues. Police officers will be actively patrolling this canyon. Hiking this area is not sanctioned and trespassing on this land is a violation of California penal code section 602. Please find other sanctioned paths to hike...there are plenty in our beautiful city. Spread the word and stay safe!"
Council president Jay Wilson said the City of San Diego owns 4 acres of land adjacent to the Adobe Falls Road cul-de-sac in Del Cerro. Drost said SDSU owns 42 of acres and that university police are working with San Diego Police Department's Eastern Division.
Del Cerro residents praised law-enforcement action and told Drost about activities that included people "rolling joints" and "partying" in the canyon. (Most residents declined to give their full names for publication.)
Steve J. said his wife visited the canyon as an SDSU student 30-some years ago and students "used to be more respectful."
Barbara said her dog barks every night because of activity in the canyon.
Laura said some people "organized a paintball fight, shot the car and broke the window." Lynette spoke about car break-ins. "I assume they're related to the canyon," she said.
Another woman asked if she could place the trash left by people on their windshields. Drost advised residents to avoid confrontation and contact authorities as needed. She gave the same advice when a woman spoke about having an outdoor coffee klatch and discussing the issue with potential trespassers.
In an interview after the meeting, residents talked about other incidents.
Lynette said there have been a "few fires, and the last week of school, there was a helicopter rescue."
When Jayne Rosenberg heard someone playing drums at 11 p.m., she determined the sound wasn't coming from an SDSU party. The drummer played a tribal beat in the canyon and Rosenberg thought, "No one will believe it." However, a neighbor told her that the canyon musician had a full drum set.
Bryan said a neighbor buys paint and "continuously paints" a utility box to cover up the phrase "A Doobie Falls."