Have you ever taken a seaside stroll along the bluffs of the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail? Flanked by sprawling farmland and the seemingly endless sea, this POST-protected destination is part of the not-yet-completed California Coastal Trail (CCT). Envisioned as a continuous 1,200 mile route from Oregon to Mexico, this network of recreational trails will one day trace our state’s entire coastline. Though many segments exist today, there are major gaps between them. Connecting them is an epic undertaking that will one day be a major milestone.

Watch this video to learn how the completion of the CCT will benefit both people and natural habitats:


POST is proud to be one of many local agencies collaborating to close the gaps along San Mateo County’s 60 miles of coastline. We’re halfway there and building momentum. Once complete, this work will join existing trails like the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail, the future trail segment at Tunitas Creek Beach and shoreline routes across several State Beaches. In the meantime, there is also a plethora of other regional trails to explore.

A group of folks walk a section of the California Coastal Trail
Planning for new sections of the CCT incorporated valuable input from local community members. This feedback is important in creating the most effective designs for new sections.

Taking Next Steps

Thanks to a recently completed 18-month feasibility study, we now have a solid path forward. Co-led by POST and Caltrans in collaboration with a host of regional organizations, the study identified route options, determined costs and gathered neighboring communities’ preferences. We collected input from the public in several ways, from focus groups to online and paper surveys. This community feedback and a Project Advisory Committee informed the research. Now, project partners have a better understanding of where the CCT should go and how it can align with nearby State Route 1.


Bringing Pieces Together

Working together is essential for this project to succeed. It hinges on partnerships with public agencies, conservation partners, local farmers, private landowners and local communities. In addition to creating safe and sustainable coastal access, efforts are underway to protect the coast’s natural, scenic and agricultural resources. With a blend of strategic planning and science, we plan to address complex issues like coastal erosion, steep slopes and sensitive habitats.

A cyclist enjoys a bike path on the CCT.
Sections of the CCT will be available to cyclists and equestrians as well as hikers.

As our vision comes to life, we’re stepping into a future that benefits people, plants and animals alike. There’s no substitute for our region’s awe-inspiring landscapes — and California’s iconic coastline is one of our main attractions. Completing the CCT will open up countless opportunities for people all along the coast to rejuvenate, get exercise, breathe the salt air and savor moments with family and friends.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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