The 5,759-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 now poised to begin work on 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.

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 lahondamasterplan@openspace.org.

CURRENT PROGRESS

Red Barn Parking Area and Trails

Located along Alpine Road, 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.  Two new trails will offer visitors loops of varying distance and difficulty for day hikes of varying intensities.

Sears Ranch Interim Parking Area and Trails

The Sears Ranch interim parking area and trail project includes minor grading and improvements at Sears Ranch Road that will open the area to the public and connect to existing trails on the preserve.  A new trail segment would also be constructed to create a loop opportunity.  Other improvements include gates, fencing, sign boards, and signage.    

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: Main access trails and interim parking areas. 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.