Mendocino Land Trust builds trails for you. We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of spending time in nature, so that we can connect to land, upon which our lives depend. Hiking and being outside is good for the heart, mind and spirit. That’s why we have a coastal trails program -- so that we can help you get outside and into the wild and experience the rugged beauty of the Mendocino Coast.
We have designed, planned, built and maintain trails up and down the Mendocino Coast, in and near the communities of Westport, Fort Bragg, Caspar, Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk and Point Arena. For more information and to find these trails, we have a web-based app for your use, or a paper copy of our trail map. We want as many people to get out and experience our trails as possible, and we try to make it easy for you to find them with both web-based and paper promotional materials.
Some of these trails are on property owned by the Land Trust, while others are within public access easements on private property. Most of these public access easements were required by the California Coastal Commission in the 1970s and 1980s, as conditions of coastal development permits. Mendocino Land Trust holds 85 such public access easements.
Our trails program is always looking forward -- we want to provide you with even more opportunities to explore the coast. It takes time to identify potential trail and conservation opportunities, and we use our coastal trail strategic plan to help us plan our next steps. Once we identify a good trail project, we work with the State Coastal Conservancy and other groups to secure funding.
There are three distinct phases of every coastal trail project:
(1) Trail design, planning and permitting. In this phase, we figure out where the trail will go and apply for and secure the necessary permits. This phase can take two to three years.
(2) Trail construction. We work with youth crews to construct the trail (usually the California Conservation Corps). Professional contractors are also often used to construct MLT trails. This phase generally takes up to six months, depending upon the complexity and remoteness of the trail segment.
(3) Trail maintenance and stewardship. Once the trail exists, we have to take care of it -- forever! This takes time and costs money.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us take care of our coastal lands and trails. There are monthly stewardship workdays at Seaside Beach, Hare Creek Beach and Navarro Point. Our stewardship staff also maintains all of our trails every month. For more information or to get involved, please contact Conservation Project Coordinator Garrett Linck, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707-962-0470.
Trail Building Resources
Here are some great trail-building resources that can be found online:
The California State Parks’ Trails Manual is currently being revised and a new manual will hopefully be published in 2017. This is great, as their most recent version is from 1992!