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Construction Begins on Spectacular North Reach Rail Trail

Coastal Rail Trail Segment 5, the North Reach, will be a 12-foot-wide paved path winding its way from Wilder Ranch through 7.5 miles of gorgeous farmland and stunning ocean views to the town of Davenport. The trail is a new linear park that will connect the community with our coastal parks, hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, surf breaks, beaches, and bluffs. The newest park along the path is Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument, where Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship is working with the Bureau of Land Management to create 27 miles of new trails in the hills north and south of Davenport.

All of these parks and beaches along the trail will combine to create a stunning destination with an impressive array of recreational activities. The existing railroad tracks will be preserved for a potential excursion train between Santa Cruz and Davenport.

New Amenities Will Enhance the Trail

A long list of improvements along the North Reach will come to life over the next few years, including new parking lots, restrooms, drinking fountains, bike racks, smooth track crossings, and improved ADA access to beaches. At Davenport village, there will be an improved high-visibility Highway 1 crosswalk. Across the highway from Yellowbank / Panther Beach, the South Entrance to Cotoni-Coast Dairies will be the trailhead for four new trails, and a new multimodal pedestrian and bicycle overpass will eventually span the highway to provide safe access between the park and the Coastal Rail Trail. 

A Brand New National Monument is Coming!

Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument is one of several signed into existence by President Barack Obama. Of the approximately 5800 acres of protected land, about half will be publicly accessible. If you would like to get involved with the trail-building effort at Cotoni-Coast Dairies, reach out to Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship. 

The rest of the national monument will remain closed to the public for industrial site mitigation, habitat restoration, and archeological conservation. The conservation work will benefit native species such as the endangered California Red-Legged Frog, for which these lands are the last major piece of habitat. The Bureau of Land Management will also be working in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to preserve the history of the Indigenous Cotoni people, who lived on and around the present-day monument for thousands of years before Spanish colonization in the late 1700s.


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