State Park Sector Superintendent, Terry Kiser, reported “Maintenance staff is still assessing the storm damage to backcountry trails but many landslides, washouts and downed trees need to be cleared up. Clearing and repairs will be ongoing and some trails may be impassable.”
Trail closures will be posted on each park’s website, and CSPA will endeavor to keep our parks’ pages updated with the latest information as well.
A sign at the stairway from the middle parking lot to the beach and Pescadero Marsh announces the closure of a vital levee in the Sequoia Audubon Trail. The levee is about midway east of the observation deck, just past the interpretive sign about salt marsh plants. That portion of the trail leads to the “Talking Tree” and east to the riparian area and the trail’s end at the hilltop. By facilitating tidal flow in and out of the marsh, this levee is essential to the health of the plants and animals in the marsh.
The trail over the levee is about 12 inches wide; it is bordered by water on two sides. The juxtaposed photos below show the northern edge of a section of the trail. Considerable erosion of the soil portion of the levee has exposed the supporting sandbags and disintegrating metal culverts.
A “trail closed” sign board has been placed at the western approach to the levee. To ensure the safety of visitors, particularly children, and the continued circulation of tidal water to support life in the marsh, State Parks has closed this section of the trail until suitable repair or replacement can be done. The delay may bring more damage from wind, rain and even foot traffic. Meanwhile, the plants and animals that inhabit the marsh this time of year can continue to rely on it for food, shelter, respite and reproduction.
Coastal Trail through Miramar
The coastal trail, from Half Moon Bay harbor south to the Ritz Carlton, runs through some State Park properties. At one location, in Miramar, the trail is now perilously close to the edge of the cliff due to coastal bluff erosion.
The plan is to re-route this section of the trail inland to ensure continued use as well as safety for all that use this popular trail
Montara Beach Staircase
A sign at the top of the staircase to the beach, at the northern parking lot for Montara State Beach, indicates “Staircase to beach closed due to storm damage.” And indeed, the bottom section of the stairs has been demolished or washed away by the winter’s storms.
At this time, it is unclear whether the staircase will be repaired or replaced.
State Parks’ Property Damaged
State Parks owns several homes close to the ocean. This one was the closest, and erosion has left the corner of the foundation unsupported. The building is now “red-tagged” as unfit for occupancy.
Plans are under way to remove the structure, but Parks is awaiting permits and final approval on engineering designs to cap the foundation. They are expecting that removal of the structure will occur before the end of April.