North Coast Rail Trail

North Coast Rail Trail

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NORTH COAST RAIL TRAIL IS STILL IN THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PLANNING PHASE AND IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SHOULD NOT ENTER THE RIGHT OF WAY UNTIL SCCRTC ANNOUNCES THAT CONSTRUCTION OF THE TRAIL HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND THE TRAIL IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE.

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. The project also includes improvements to three existing parking areas (Davenport Beach, Bonny Doon Beach, and Panther/Yellowbank Beach) as well as a new crossing of Highway 1 in Davenport. The project comprises the majority of Segment 5 of the larger Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network. See the North Coast Rail Trail Fact Sheet for schedule and funding details.

The North Coast Rail Trail is divided into two phases, which will be built together should funding be secured. Phase I covers 5.4 miles from Wilder Ranch to Panther/Yellowbank Beach. Phase II spans 2.1 miles from Panther/Yellowbank Beach to Davenport and includes new parking lots in Davenport and at Panther/Yellowbank Beach, improved access to the parking lot at Bonny Doon Beach, and a pedestrian crossing in Davenport. Final design and permitting are scheduled to be complete in 2022. Construction funding for Phase I is programmed for 2024. Construction funding for Phase II is pending final award for Federal Lands Access program grant funds to be announced in Fall 2022 and would also be programmed for 2024.

View the North Coast Rail Trail fact sheet here.

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 North Coast Rail Trail. 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.

Environmental Review

California Environmental Quality Act

The RTC certified the Final EIR on March 7, 2019. The final EIR includes the following:

  • Volume 1 (43 MB): Comments submitted by agencies, organizations, and individuals concerning the 2018 Draft EIR and responses to those comments
  • Volume 2 (210 MB): The Draft EIR, with appropriate revisions made in response to comments for clarification or additional detail
  • Volume 3 (74 MB): Appendices to the Draft EIR

Addendum to the Certified 2019 Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) adopted March 5, 2020

National Environmental Policy Act

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFL) finalized the Environmental Assessment in October 2021.

RTC Contact

Grace Blakeslee
Senior Transportation Planner
gblakeslee@sccrtc.org
(831) 460-3200