North Coast Rail Trail

North Coast Rail Trail

The North Coast Rail Trail Project is a 7.5-mile multi-use bicycle and pedestrian trail proposed to extend along the RTC-owned railroad corridor from Wilder Ranch State Park on the south to Davenport on the north in unincorporated Santa Cruz County.

The project comprises Segment 5 of the larger Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network, for which a Master Plan was adopted and a programmatic EIR was certified in 2013. The Master Plan was revised in 2014, along with an addendum to the EIR. Information from the Master Plan EIR will be used where appropriate.

Notice of Preparation

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is the Lead Agency and will prepare the EIR in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the North Coast Rail Trail Project. A Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was distributed September 13, 2017 and is available to review online.  The public comment period closed on October 16, 2017.

Public Scoping Meetings

Pursuant to the public participation goals of CEQA, the RTC hosted two EIR Scoping Meetings in late September 2017 in Davenport and in the City of Santa Cruz to gather additional input on the scope (content and focus) of the EIR analysis. The materials presented at the scoping meetings are available below.

Preliminary Designs & Schematics

The project will be a 16 to 26-foot wide paved and unpaved bicycle and pedestrian path stretching from Wilder Ranch to Davenport. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and take approximately one year.

Click to view Segment 5 preliminary designs displayed at the Scoping Meetings (as of September, 2017)

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is working in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD). FHWA-CFLHD is the lead agency for design and construction of this segment of the county-wide Coastal Rail Trail project. The RTC is the owner of the railroad right-of-way and is the agency responsible for overall implementation of the rail trail along the 32-mile rail corridor from Watsonville to Davenport.

Funding for design, environmental studies, construction, construction engineering, management, and permitting for this project comes from the Federal Lands Access Program, the California Coastal Conservancy, Measure D and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. Partners include California State Parks and the County of Santa Cruz.

RTC Contact

Cory Caletti
Senior Transportation Planner/Rail Trail Program Manager
(831) 460-3200