La Honda Creek

Public Access ProjectsThe 6,142-acre La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve consists of working ranch land, grasslands, and forests near the town of La Honda. In 2012, the District completed a 30-year use and management Master Plan whose goals are to balance the preservation of viable agriculture, cultural history, and the natural environment with public education and low-intensity recreation.  With the passage of Measure AA in June 2014, the District is working to prepare the property for the first phase of public access.

Public Access Projects Start this Year!

Shortly after the passage of Measure AA, the District Board of Directors prioritized and approved two public access projects and additional staff resources to focus on La Honda Creek and open the Preserve to the public.  Priority land stewardship projects identified in the Master Plan, including pond repairs and improvements to grazing infrastructure, continue to proceed simultaneously. These improvements will ensure that increased visitor use will be safely and successfully integrated into the ranching operations.

Master Plan

The La Honda Creek Master Plan includes:

  • Creating over nine miles of new multi-use trails (including bicycles) and over 16 miles of new hiking and equestrian trails;
  • Implementing extensive resource management projects to improve wildlife habitat, restore creeks, and reduce wildfire risk;
  • Reintroducing cattle grazing to the northern portion of the Preserve, including the Red Barn area.

The Master Plan establishes a long-term vision for the Preserve to guide future decisions affecting use and management of the land for the next 30 years. The Master Plan would be implemented in four phases over the next 30 years. Proposed actions are prioritized based on their relative importance, critical need, and sequencing (when certain projects must precede others) to implement the District’s vision for the Preserve.  We are currently on schedule for Phase I implementation. 

If you have any questions about the Master Plan, please feel free to contact Lisa Bankosh, Project Manager, at


Phase I - Public Access Trails Phase I Trails and Sears Ranch Parking Area

The first phase of public access at La Honda Creek includes opening approximately 6  miles of trail in the lower Preserve area for hiking and horseback riding, construction of a new parking area at the end of Sears Ranch Road near the Town of La Honda.  The Sears Ranch Parking Area will provide space for 10-20 vehicles and will include a vault restroom facility. The parking area and trail are expected to open to the public in Fall 2017.  During Phase I of public access, equestrian parking will continue to be available by permit at the Driscoll Event Center.

Red Barn at La Honda Creek OSPRed Barn Parking Area and Trails

Located along Highway 84, the iconic Red Barn is the site of future parking and trail access into the Preserve.  The project will enable passive recreation including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking and wildlife viewing. The staging area will include a paved parking lot with space for 15-25 vehicles including horse trailer parking. The staging area will also include a restroom, picnic areas, wayfinding and educational signage. As part of the development of the Red Barn Parking area, approximately 13-miles of new trails will be constructed and opened to the public. Trails from the Red Barn Parking area will offer visitors loops of varying distance and difficulty as well as  trail connections to the Allen Road and Sears Ranch staging areas located at the northern and southern extents of the property, respectively. Planning and design of the Red Barn staging area has begun. The staging area and approximately 13-miles of new trails are expected to open to the public in Fall 2020.

Project Timeline

2033-2042 Phase IV Implementation
2023-2032 Phase III Implementation
2018-2022 Phase II Implementation: Trail connections, creek restoration, permanent parking areas, bridge replacement.
2012-2017 Phase I Implementation: Phase I trails and Sears Ranch parking area. High-priority water quality protection projects, wildfire response plan, Red Barn site specific plan.
Aug 2012 Master Plan Finalized: The Board certified the environmental documents and approved the Master Plan.