Mindego Gateway Project

Location and Background

The 97.5-acre former Silva property is located four miles south east of the Town of La Honda along Alpine Road in unincorporated San Mateo County. The property is surrounded by Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve to the north and west, and Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve to the south and east. The property is also accessible from Alpine Road via Skyline Boulevard (State Highway 35) with close to a mile of frontage along Alpine Road.

In partnership with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), the District is currently constructing a new parking lot and is planning two new connector trails in the Mindego Area of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.  POST has recently finished construction of a commemorative site adjacent to the staging area to honor the conservation achievements of its former president Audrey C. Rust.  These new public-access facilities collectively form the Mindego Gateway Project, and are scheduled to be open this spring.

Project Timeline

  • February 2014 – Construction is complete at the Mindego Gateway Staging Area. District staff is currently working with the County of San Mateo to finalize permitting so that the new parking lot can be opened to the public.

  • November 2013 – The District is finalizing the construction of the Mindego Gateway Parking Lot, short connection trail to Mindego Hill Trail, and the Audrey C. Rust Commemorative Site was completed this fall.   The site provides parking for 20 cars (including two ADA accessible spots), a restroom, bike rack, trail connection, and access to the Commemorative Site. 
  • July 2012 - The District Legislative, Funding, and Public Affairs Committee (LFPAC) reviewed and accepted the final commemorative site design, which aligns with the Board-approved design guidelines.

  • June 2012 - The District Board
    • Adopted the IS/MND in accordance with CEQA.
    • Approved an amendment to the Use and Management (U&M) Plan for Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve to construct a commemorative site, a 20-stall paved parking lot, a multi-use trail connecting the staging area to the Ancient Oaks Trail, a hiking and equestrian trail to the peak of Mindego Hill, and close a section of the existing Mindego Ridge Trail to bicycles.
    • Authorized the General Manager to approve amendments to the Williamson Act Contracts pertaining to the Project parcels, as well as future Williamson Act contract amendments, as possible and needed, to allow open space uses and supporting facilities that are compatible with agricultural operations (See Board Report R-12-37).

  • February 2012 - The District completed an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act. The public comment period ended March 19, 2012.

  • January 2012 -  The District Board of Directors tentatively approved the Project, including proposed trail use recommendations, for the purposes of environmental review pursuant to the CEQA (See Board Report R-12-13).

  • November 10, 2011 - Staff presented the proposed trail use recommendations for the Mindego Gateway Project and sought public and Committee input on these recommendations. Staff recommendations included:
    • Designating the proposed Mindego Hill Trail and adjacent segment of Mindego Ridge Trail as hiking and equestrian-only trails. The Mindego Hill Trail would be built primarily using hand tools and will average a width of two feet.
    • Designating the proposed Ancient Oaks Connector Trail as a multi-use trail.

  • October 21, 2011 - District staff sought recommendations from the Use and
    Management Committee to move forward with design of the project elements: Mindego Gateway Parking Lot and Staging Area and two new trails-- the "Mindego Hill Trail" and the "Ancient Oaks Connector Trail."

  • August 2011 - The District Board of Directors approved the Mindego Gateway Project as a new Key Project, created a series of design guidelines for the Audrey Rust Commemorative Site (to be constructed by POST), and authorized contracts with a team of consultants including landscape architects, CEQA specialists, and biologists to plan and design the staging area and trail connections (See Board Reports
    R-11-82, R-11-86, and R-11-87).

  • June 28, 2011 - The District took title to the property and it was added as part of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. The former Silva property,
    located just over one mile east of Mindego Hill, contains a graded area with frontage onto Alpine Road that provides an ideal staging area location for the larger proposed Mindego Gateway Project.

  • May 11, 2011 - The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (District) Board of Directors approved the purchase of the 97.5-acre former Silva Property from POST (See Board Report R-11-14).

Next Steps

  • Construction of the Ancient Oaks and Mindego Hill Trail
    (Spring/Summer 2014)

  Additional Information

Russian Ridge Preserve

Board Report R-12-85
(August 2012)

Board Report R-12-37
(June 2012)

Board Report R-12-13
(January 2012)

Biotic Assessment
(November 2011)

Trail Use FAQs
(November 16, 2011)

U&M Committee Report
Meeting Minutes
(November 10, 2011)

U&M Committee Report
(October 21, 2011)

Board Report R-11-87
(August 24, 2011)

Board Report R-11-86
(August 24, 2011)

Board Report R-11-82
(August 10, 2011)

Board Report R-11-14
(May 11, 2011)

Current projects

Cooley Landing Project

Coastside Protection Program

Driscoll Ranch Lease & Management Plan

El Corte de Madera Watershed Protection Program

Hawthorns Historic Complex

La Honda Creek Master Plan

Mindego Gateway Project

Mindego Ranch Use and
Management Plan

Mount Umunhum Summit Project

Sierra Azul + Bear Creek Master Plan

Skyline Ridge Tree Farm Project

Vision Plan Project