Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The state is building a boardwalk for the north bluff of the viewpoint! It will replace the dirt trail and single strand of rope that now greet visitors. The trail will be closed for 22 weeks, starting May 12.

Doug Barker, District Services Manager for Hearst Castle / California State Parks, reports that the plan is to construct an ADA-Accessible segment of the California Coastal Trail to connect the parking lots at Vista Points 3 and 4. There will be 330 feet of boardwalk and 945 feet of decomposed granite trail with "bulb out" viewing areas separated from the bluffs by handrails.

The trail will remedy drainage and erosion problems along the existing trail alignment. When the rangers came out to eyeball the site last week, they told me they will also remove invasive thistles. I hope they take out the poison oak, too. The trail will be replanted with California native plants.
Approximately 50 feet of the north end of the parking lot at Vista Point 3 will be cordoned off with orange temporary construction fencing for equipment staging and personnel, at the southern end ofthe project area. For safety reasons, this staging area will be closed to the public for the duration.
A more secure trail should prevent seals from climbing onto it, as this weaner did in February. It's charming, but risky. There's a gate on the trail now, to keep seals from getting into the parking lot. The unadorned trail has a nice, rustic feel to it, but it's not adequate for the thousands of visitors who now come to the viewpoint. There will still be plenty of undeveloped California coast for us to enjoy.

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