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 railroad corridor from Wilder Ranch State Park in the south to Davenport in the north in unincorporated Santa Cruz County. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020 and take approximately one year.

The project comprises the majority of 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.

The 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.

Draft Environmental Impact Report – Now Available

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is the Lead Agency and prepared the DEIR in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the North Coast Rail Trail Project.

Notice of Availability: includes project, comment and public meeting details

The RTC solicited comments on the adequacy and completeness of the analysis and proposed mitigation measures described in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), available for download below. The public comment period began August 9, 2018 and ended September 24, 2018.

Two public meetings were held: August 22 in Santa Cruz and August 23 in Davenport. A presentation summarizing the document was given by RTC staff and consultants with public Q & A, and DEIR oral testimony & written comments were received. Approximately 70 people attended the meetings.

Electronic copies on thumb drives are available at RTC’s Santa Cruz office (1523 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz), and hard copies will be available for review at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries – Downtown Branch (224 Church Street, Santa Cruz), Aptos Branch (7695 Soquel Drive, Aptos), Scotts Valley Branch (251 Kings Village Rd., Scotts Valley), the Watsonville Public Library (275 Main Street #100, Watsonville), and the Davenport Resource Service Center (150 Church St, Davenport).

2017 Notice of Preparation, Public Scoping Meetings and Preliminary Designs

A Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was distributed September 13, 2017 and comments were received until October 16, 2017. Two public scoping meetings were held pursuant to the public participation goals of CEQA in Davenport and in the City of Santa Cruz to gather input on the scope of the EIR analysis.  View the Notice of Preparation, presentation slides and the preliminary designs as displayed at the scoping meetings.


RTC Contact

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