California Coastal Trail

California Coastal Trail LogoCalifornia boasts one of the most diverse and spectacular coastlines in the world. Visitors and residents alike are drawn to its sandy beaches, tide pools, dramatic coastal cliffs, densely forested coastal mountains, and large bays. The variety and breath-taking beauty of its coast are a critical component of California’s economy and quality of life for its citizens.

To make the coast more accessible, encourage non-motorized transportation, and foster appreciation and stewardship of the scenic and natural resources of the coast, the California Coastal Trail (CCT) is being developed to create a continuous, interconnected public trail system spanning over a 1200 miles from Oregon to Mexico

The California Coastal Trail (CCT) is one of the pre-eminent trails in our nation and was designated as federal Millennium Legacy Trail in 1999. It is used for recreation as well as alternative transportation and is increasingly seen as an economic asset to local communities as a tourist attraction and community amenity. The CCT takes a variety of forms designed to fit the surrounding environment, level of use, and available land rights. Whenever possible, the trail is designed to accommodate hiking, biking and equestrian use and be fully accessible. To achieve this, in many areas the trail consists of a braided network of trails.

Read Completing the California Coastal Trail report, which provides a strategic blueprint for a recreational facility that will have lasting value for California. The Coastal Trail will enable Californians to enjoy our coastal treasures and will attract visitors from around the world.

Devils Slide Coastal TrailOpenRoad with Doug McConnell features a new segment of California Coastal Trail high above the Pacific at Devils Slide in San Mateo County.

Today, roughly 60% of the CCT is complete, and the Coastal Conservancy has been tasked by the legislature to help complete it. The Conservancy pursues this mandate in part by awarding grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations to acquire land rights, and to develop, operate, or manage lands for public access to and along the coast. In addition, the Coastal Conservancy works with the California Coastal Trail Association (CCTA) and other state agencies including the Coastal Commission and State Parks to coordinate development of the CCT.

Coming Soon! Explore the Coast Web App

Despite the fact that over 60% of the CCT already exists, many Californians and visitors are not familiar with the great opportunities, sometimes even in their own back yards, to enjoy the beach, go for a hike, or experience a tide pool. To address this, the State Coastal Conservancy, California Coastal Commission, and the CCTA have teamed up to develop a mobile web application to help visitors explore the California Coast. The web app will help people find segments of the CCT, beaches and other coastal recreation points. The app will include site specific maps, trail descriptions, and lists of amenities that users will be able to search based on their interests and needs. The tool will also be designed to provide site specific interpretive information on topics such as native plants and animals, local history and culture, and geology. Look for release of the web app in spring of 2016.

SCC/OPC Project Viewer

SCC Project Viewer

Coastal Trail News

  • The Conservancy at 40: The Carmel River
    In 1999 the Carmel River was listed as one of North American’s ten most endangered rivers, but many organizations and individuals have been working together to reverse this and make the Carmel River watershed once again healthy and vibrant. Over the years, a concentration of conservation efforts has begun the transformation; this has included land […] (Read more on The Conservancy at...)
  • The Conservancy at 40: San Mateo County Coast
    The San Mateo County Coast is only minutes from one of the largest metropolitan areas in the state, and people making the short drive from San Francisco or San Jose are always surprised by how, all of a sudden, there’s so much green space on the coast! The open rolling hills look effortlessly “natural,” but […] (Read more on The Conservancy at...)
  • The Conservancy at 40 Years: Marin County
    The next time you are traveling around west Marin, imagine the expansive rolling hills covered with thousands of homes and highways instead of family farms.  That was the future for many of the ranches and farms of west Marin County if concerned citizens hadn’t banded together to protect Marin’s 150-year old farming heritage. Approximately 40 […] (Read more on The Conservancy at...)
  • The Conservancy at 40 Years: Fort Bragg
    How many stretches of the California Coastal Trail feature a dynamite shack?  Fort Bragg may have the only one in California! The innocuous looking concrete structure stands on the edge of the bluff in Noyo Headlands Park, the home of the city’s newly opened four mile Kah Kahleh trail, part of the Coastal Trail.  The […] (Read more on The Conservancy at...)
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