Following a series of severe winter storms, officials have partially closed access to the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. As of March 27, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has closed the parking lot at the intersection of Purisima Creek Road and Higgins Canyon Road for the foreseeable future due to numerous downed trees in the reserve.
The decision is tied to the landslide that closed Higgins Canyon Road in January. Because the road is one of two access roads to the preserve, MidPen staff are coordinating the closure with San Mateo County’s effort to repair Higgins Canyon Road. But with county resources stretched thin repairing other roadways, lower access to Purisima Creek Trail will likely remain closed until fall 2023.
Ryan McCauley, a public affairs specialist with MidPen, said the “unprecedented” run of storms bringing wind and rain has made it difficult to determine when trails can reopen safely. He noted that MidPen crews have removed more than 1,000 fallen trees across all the reserves this winter, far more than a typical winter.
Trail users can still access one of MidPen’s most popular reserves from Skyline Boulevard, but there are still restrictions. The North Ridge Trail, Hawkins Ridge Trail and Craig Britton Trail are all open from the North Ridge Parking lot. However, only hikers are allowed on Purisima Creek Trail from the Redwood parking lot.
Purisima Creek Trail is closed to all users between Grabtown Gulch Trail and Craig Britton Trail. The trail is also closed to bicyclists from Skyline Boulevard to Craig Britton Trail. No horses are allowed on the trail. Additionally, Whittemore
Gulch Trail and the middle section of Purisima Creek Trail are closed for repairs. The entire preserve is closed to horses.
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