Peninsula Open Space Trust announced this week it is coordinating with 10 other Bay Area private and public groups to create a continuous “Bay to Sea Trail” stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the San Francisco Bay.
POST Public Access Program Manager Rachael Faye said the 40-mile multiuse trail, projected to stretch across San Mateo County, is still in its early planning stages. She said the exact route is still to be determined but it is expected to run through Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve and will include some urban sections in Redwood City.
“This will be the one east-west trail in the Peninsula Bay Area,” Faye said. “It's really unique in that way.”
The estimated completion date of the continuous trail is 2037, with some segments opening sooner than others.
Faye said completion is so far off because it depends on acquiring land, working with each jurisdiction to plan and approve a route, incorporating public input, completing environmental reviews and other public approval processes. Then there is the actual construction of the trail, which can only happen during certain months of the year.
“I wish I could say it's easier to plan and design and develop a trail, but it's a long process,” Faye said. “... It requires vision and patience.”
Faye said their initial focus has been on establishing a shared vision with the many groups involved in the project and whose land the trail may someday pass through. Those groups include the city of Half Moon Bay and the Coastside Land Trust as well as similar jurisdictions across the Peninsula and on the bay side. These relationships, she said, lay the groundwork for the challenges to come of designing and constructing one continuous trail.
She said it is worth all the effort. Once completed, the Bay to Sea Trail will link together four north-south regional trails, including the Coastal Trail, connecting walkers and bikers to new spaces they
have yet to explore. And the continuous regional trail, Faye said, can also provide an opportunity for perspective and for people to develop a greater understanding and appreciation for protecting and enjoying open space in the region.
“It’s a place-making opportunity to feel where we are in relation to something grander,” Faye said.
This version corrects to remove POST from reference to the Purisima Open Space Preserve.