Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship Breaks Ground on Eight Miles of Multi-Use Trails at San Vicente Redwoods

March 3, 2022
The trail stewardship is constructing Phase 1 of this brand new trail network for the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to increase public access within the Santa Cruz Mountains.

SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. – Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship (SCMTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trail stewardship organization, today announced that it is breaking ground on Phase 1 trails at San Vicente Redwoods, an 8,852-acre protected property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County hired SCMTS as the trail design and building specialists for the San Vicente Redwoods trail network, and Phase 1 of development will open eight miles of new trails to hikers, bikers, and equestrians in Fall 2022.

San Vicente Redwoods is privately owned and managed by four local land trusts–Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Sempervirens Fund, Save the Redwoods League, and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County (LTSCC). These new trails are these land managers’ gift to the community, and SCMTS is proud to help open this private land to the public. The property will remain, first and foremost, a conservation area. The forest contains endangered marbled murrelet habitat, mountain lion denning, and other sensitive species.

“We’re proud to dig into trail development at San Vicente Redwoods,” said Matt De Young, Executive Director of Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship. “These trails will provide residents and visitors with a new place to appreciate, enjoy, and protect the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We can’t wait to share this property with our community.”

Phase 1 trails will be winding singletrack with some narrow, technical, and natural sections. They’ll consist of several stacked loops at the top of the property closest to Empire Grade, with about 200’ elevation change total. LTSCC has fundraised for the construction of San Vicente Redwoods trails and has also received a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board. The Land Trust hired SCMTS to design and build their trails because they knew they could trust the SCMTS staff and community to treat the property with the care and sensitivity it deserves.

Eventually, the trail system at San Vicente Redwoods is envisioned as connecting to other trails in the area, including those being established this year at the adjacent Cotoni-Coast Dairies unit of the California Coastal National Monument. Interested parties may support SCMTS’ work building Cotoni-Coast Dairies trails via its Timeless Trails here.

“We’ve worked with the SCMTS team for 7 years, and they were a natural fit for the thoughtful trail design and construction that San Vicente Redwoods requires,” said Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. “The property was impacted by recent wildfires, and we trust SCMTS’ expert staff and knowledgeable volunteers to construct trails that respect existing resources and build resilience within this jaw-dropping mountain landscape. Together, we’re excited to connect more local residents and visitors to the beautiful natural landscape within this spectacular property.”

Phase 1 trail construction is currently underway. Trails will be built by the professional SCMTS Trail Crew with support from hundreds of passionate community volunteers. Starting in April 2022, SCMTS will host regular volunteer trail work events at San Vicente Redwoods. These events will range from small-scale weekday drop-in trail work to “Saturdays at San Vicente” work days and large-scale supported Dig Days. Please subscribe to the SCMTS newsletter or visit the organization’s events calendar for the latest sign-ups.

San Vicente Redwoods trails will bring fresh outdoor experiences to users of all skill levels and abilities. SCMTS is proud to support the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, along with their three partners, POST, The Sempervirens Fund, and the Save the Redwoods League, as they look forward to welcoming visitors later this year.

For more information: Click here or email Katy Poniatowski at [email protected]


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