1,230 Mile California Coastal Trail 70% Complete According to New Map

The California Coastal Commission has released a new digital map of the California Coastal Trail (CCT), an in-progress multi-use path that will ultimately run from the Mexican border to the Oregon border. The project is 70% complete, with 875 miles of trail constructed out of a planned 1,230.

The Coastal Trail has been in the works for 46 years—planning began in 1975. “The California Coastal Trail is one of the only flagship trails in the country that is accessible to almost everyone,” said Coastal Conservancy Executive Officer Sam Schuchat. “Many Californians have walked a segment or two without even realizing it! With this map, people can find trail segments easily, as well as public access points to get to the shore.”

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Braided Network of Trails

Rather than one footpath, the Coastal Trail will be a braided network of trails that runs continuously along the coastline. Some segments will be open to a variety of non-motorized travelers. According to the CCT website, “the CCT is considered a braided network, meaning there can be parallel routes that accommodate different experiences, such as a sandy beach route for beach visitors, a bluff top dirt hiking path providing scenic views, and a paved path for bikers, wheelchair users, and people needing firmer footing.”

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The trail traverses variable terrain but is developed as close to the ocean as feasible. It runs within sight, sound, and smell of the waves as often as possible. The route traverses iconic areas like Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Redwood National Park. The Coastal Commission hopes the CCT will improve access to the coast, promote appreciation and stewardship of coastal resources, and create linkages to other trail systems.

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2021 CCT Map

The new 2021 CCT map indicates completed segments of trail, public access points, shoreline access routes, and bike-only segments. Users can view the map online or download it.

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“This really going to help the public appreciate all their options for accessing the coast,” said Coastal Commission Vice-Chair Donne Brownsey. “Hopefully we will get more people out there on those beautiful trails.”

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