The Granada Community Services District will host a Coastal Trail History Walk on Saturday featuring an El Granada resident expert who will teach hikers about the trail’s past and share his hopes for the trail’s future.

Len Erickson has always been a hiking enthusiast, and coastal trails are something special. He hasn’t led many formal, large group hikes before, but he’s looking forward to this one. 

“Here we’ve got such a great mix of easy, accessible walks that go right by the ocean,” Erickson said. “... When you walk right next to the ocean you can literally see its very features. It’s just a completely pleasant walk to do.”

The district’s Parks Advisory Committee was tasked with finding local recreation opportunities for residents, and the walk is part of its efforts to provide those activities. 

“We don’t have venues like a community center or district park at which we could host recreation programs,” said Nancy Marsh, chair of the Parks Advisory Committee in an email, “... but we do have our wonderful outdoor environment and several resident historians and environmental enthusiasts who have generously offered their time and expertise to lead educational hikes.” 

Last year, the Parks Advisory Committee started a summer recreation program with eight free events. This year, it’s offering 20 different activities. Some are hosted by the GCSD while others are activities led by different local groups. 

“The lovely thing about the walks is you get to know a little more about your neighborhood and your community,” Marsh said on the phone. “You get to meet more people in our community, including wonderful volunteer historians. They help people understand how to get plugged into their community.”

Erickson hopes to highlight the way the trail has changed, such as where an old road once lay 30 years ago that has mostly eroded away. In addition to the morning walk, Erickson is organizing a separate afternoon hike to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve area. He will post more details on the Midcoast Community Council’s website. 

“Some people will take a two-hour drive just to get here,” Erickson said. “For those who live here, we can make it a daily walk if we want to. We’re pretty well blessed with that opportunity.”

Erickson will be leading the walk in place of his wife, Gael Erickson. She initially came up with the idea and was scheduled to host the walk but died about a month ago. Gael Erickson was an influential GCSD member and longtime member of the Greenbelt Alliance. Len Erickson said she was “an enthusiastic park leader” and led many hikes around the Bay Area.

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