The 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.
Public access is currently available in two unconnected parts of the Preserve.
- Upper La Honda Creek features 3.5 miles of shorter sections of trail through forest and redwoods. Due to parking limitations, a no-fee permit is required for access to Upper La Honda Creek.
- Lower La Honda Creek offers 6 miles of trail through open rolling grasslands. Trails run through an active grazing operation, and visitors may encounter cattle and ranchers. A no-fee permit is required for equestrian parking at the Event Center; all other visitors park at the Sears Ranch Road lot.
In December 2017, La Honda Creek opened for the first phase of public access. New features include: six miles of trail for hiking and horseback riding, a 20-space parking area, trailhead and vault toilet.
Planning and design of the Red Barn area to develop conceptual plans for the proposed staging area and new trails is underway. 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 area will include a parking lot, picnic areas, trail and educational signage. As part of this development, new trails will be constructed and opened to the public. Trails from the Red Barn Parking area will offer varying distance and difficulty as well as trail connections to the Allen Road and Sears Ranch Road staging areas located at the northern and southern extents of the property, respectively.
Red Barn Conceptual Design Alternatives Presentation
On Tuesday, March 20, 2018 the Planning and Natural Resources Committee received a project status update on the Red Barn Public Access Area Site Plan, and heard public comments on the plan. Following the presentation, the Committee recommended that Alternative 3 be brought before the full Board of Directors for review and input. This meeting will provide the public further opportunity to share information, ask questions, and give feedback on this project. Sign up to join the email list for future public meetings and project updates.
The Committee first received a a presentation of two conceptual design alternatives for the project in 2017. Input received at this meeting along with new findings from a follow-up analysis of the opportunities and constraints were incorporated into the new recommendated design (Alternative 3). 2017 Red Barn Public Access Conceptual Design Presentation
Several public meetings are tentatively scheduled for summer 2018
- Board of Directors meeting to review the Red Barn Preferred Design Alternative
- Community workshop in La Honda to seek public opinion on Preferred Design Alternative.
- Board of Directors meeting to accept Preferred Alternative for purposes of Environmental Review (CEQA)
These meetings will provide the public an opportunity to share information, ask questions, and give feedback on this project. Sign up below to join the email list for future public meetings and project updates.
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 is scheduled to 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.
|Aug 2012||Master Plan Finalized: The Board certified the environmental documents and approved the Master Plan.|
|2012-2017||Phase I Implementation: Phase I trails and Sears Ranch parking area. High-priority water quality protection projects, wildfire response plan, initiate Red Barn site plan.|
|Dec 2017||Lower La Honda Creek opens to public access|
|2018-2022||Complete Red Barn Site Plan and environmental review
Phase II Implementation: Trail connections, creek restoration, parking areas, bridge replacement.
|2023-2032||Phase III Implementation (tentative)|
|2033-2042||Phase IV Implementation (tentative)|