Midpen is currently conducting a feasibility study to evaluate four potential sites for expanded parking and trailhead access to La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. The sites were recommended by the La Honda Public Access Working Group and were approved to study for feasibility by the Midpen board of directors.
Goals and Objectives
The project seeks to provide ecologically sensitive public access to the central, currently closed, portion of the preserve and offer opportunities to connect visitors between the upper and lower reaches of the preserve.
Midpen acquired the services of a multidisciplinary consultant team to conduct technical studies to support the feasibility study of the recommended sites. In the last year, the consultant team completed multiple technical studies (traffic, biological, botanical, arborist, wetland delineation, cultural resources, topographical and geotechnical) and developed an opportunities and constraints report that summarizes the findings.
The following technical studies have been completed to form a comprehensive understanding of the existing site conditions and support the opportunities and constraints analysis.
Below are the recommended considerations for each site being studied:
Equestrian trailer parking
Overflow vehicular parking for the Sears Ranch Road entrance
Trail access to the existing parking lot and trail system (trail design and alignment by Midpen
Potential Sears Ranch Road improvements
Vehicular parking area with trailhead and potential vault restroom facility
Safe vehicular access to and from Highway 84
Potential Highway 84 improvements to enhance roadway safety
Trail access to the existing trail system including a replacement bridge over La Honda Creek (trail design and alignment by Midpen)
- Gravel parking area
- Safe vehicular access to and from Highway 84
- Potential traffic safety improvements along Highway 84
- Trail access to the Red Barn (trail design and alignment by Midpen)
The recommendations also included short term measures and amenities for an area one mile north of the existing Sears Ranch parking lot, named the “C sites”. The C sites are outside of the consultants’ scope of work due to the minimal nature of contemplated site improvements.
Midpen staff are currently planning for benches and equestrian infrastructure at the C sites and studying the feasibility of the recommended short-term measures as follows:
- Suitable location for picnic, family-friendly, equestrian-serving and interpretive amenities only (type, location, and quantity to be determined during feasibility study phase)
Add signage at the existing pull out along Highway 84 near the Red Barn with information about current access at the Preserve or interpretive information on the Red Barn and history of the property’s use as a ranch.
Allow opportunities for docent-led hikes north from Harrington Creek Trail along the existing ranch road that leads towards La Honda Creek and the currently closed area of the Preserve.
To open access to the closed area of the Preserve more quickly, prioritize projects providing new trail connections from the Allen Road vista point and Sears Ranch Road parking lot to the Red Barn area (note that scouting for a trail alignment from the parking lot to the Red Barn area is already under way).