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Since our beginning, POST has been committed to supporting regional trails through the open spaces we protect. In the past 40 years, we have protected more than 76,000 acres of open spaces — and it’s regional trails that link this work together. Trails are the nexus between our protected lands and the personal connections we make with it.
Our Hiking Calendar provides a seasonal guide to our regional trails, so you’ll know just when and where to go to experience some of the Bay Area’s best hiking trails. I’m excited to share some more details on these trails, their history and POST’s involvement in these projects:
Overview: The Bay Area Ridge Trail connects the highest points around the San Francisco Bay for 375 miles. Once complete it will circumnavigate the entire Bay Area.
Distance once complete: 550 miles
Percent complete: 68%
Managing agency: There is a consortium of land management agencies in all nine Bay Area Counties working to complete this trail, but the Bay Area Ridge Council is the group leading the charge to secure this trail.
POST’s involvement: POST has protected thousands of acres of ridgeline in the Santa Cruz Mountains that the Bay Area Ridge Trail now transects. A few examples include Russian Ridge, the Phelger Estate (future connection) and Windy Hill (our first acquisition) just to name a few. As with each of these projects, we continue to look for opportunities in our working area to support the completion of this regional trail.
Overview: The vision for the Bay to Sea Trail is to create a continuous trail experience from the San Francisco Bay across the Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean. Once complete, this trail will also connect the urban areas of East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City with the open spaces in the Santa Cruz Mountains and support regional connectivity by connecting to five other regional trail networks.
Distance once complete: 40 miles
Percent complete: 46%
Managing agency: Much of this trail transects POST-protected Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, now managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The other agency partners along the route support this vision too. This trail is in the early stages of development so please stay tuned to learn more.
POST’s involvement: POST is actively working to complete this trail by acquiring land to close trail gaps, leading agency collaboration and supporting the development of critical urban trail connections through communities like Redwood City, North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto.
Overview: Once complete, the California Coastal Trail will parallel the state’s entire coastline.
Distance once complete: 1,200 miles
Percent complete: 50% in San Mateo County
Managing agency: The California Coastal Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that works to protect the state’s coastal resources. They’re the lead organization working on the development of this regional trail. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the California Coastal Trail Association, a volunteer organization that advocates for this trail.
POST’s involvement: POST has protected numerous properties on the San Mateo coast that now supports the California Coastal Trail, most notably Pillar Point, Wavecrest, Cowell Ranch and Pigeon Point. And, earlier this month, we protected another 26 acres of land on the coast south of Half Moon Bay, closing a significant gap in this trail.
Overview: San Jose’s Coyote Creek Trail extends from the San Francisco Bay to the city’s southern boundary and then into Santa Clara County-managed land, winding its way through the heart of Coyote Valley.
Distance once complete: 30 miles
Percent complete: 70%
Managing agency: The City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department manage this trail.
POST’s involvement: Through funding and community outreach support, POST will support the development of the final undeveloped segments of this trail. POST’s close partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority to protect critical wildlife habitat in Coyote Valley will also safeguard the high-quality trail experience in the southern portion of the route.
Overview: The Long Ridge to Pomponio Trail will connect the ridgeline of the Santa Cruz Mountains with the Pacific Ocean at Pomponio State Beach.
Distance once complete: 25 miles
Percent complete: 56%
Managing agency: Like many of these regional trails, there are a number of organizations working to support this project. But the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, California State Parks and POST are spearheading this work.
POST’s Involvement: For more than a decade, POST has had a vision for this regional trail connection pursuing land and trail easement acquisitions along the way.
Overview: Europeans first discovered the San Francisco Bay in 1769 through an expedition led by the Spanish commander Gaspar de Portolá. This expedition used trails created by the Ohlone People to navigate the Peninsula. This regional trail, which is in the early stages of planning, will honor those transportation routes and pay homage to our region’s prehistory and history.
Distance once complete: 90 miles
Percent complete: TBA (learn more here)
Managing agency: The County of San Mateo Department of Parks is sponsoring this project by leading the effort to plan this trail with the support of County Supervisors Don Horsley and Carole Groom and a coalition of partner agencies and organizations. The trail will eventually be managed by numerous land management agencies.
POST’s involvement: POST has a representative on the core planning committee and we provide the mapping and GIS support needed for the planning effort.
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 76,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.