Hiker on the Borden Hatch Trail in Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve by Karl Gohl.

Purisima Creek Redwoods Multimodal Access Project

Hiker on the Borden Hatch Trail in Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve by Karl Gohl.

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is one of Midpen’s most beloved preserves. With a large network of trails and wonderful opportunities to explore redwood forests and connect with nature, parking demand often exceeds space during peak visitation hours, holidays and weekends. 

The study completed in November 2022 assessed what transportation demand management strategies could be appropriate for Purisima Creek Redwoods at a preserve-wide level and made recommendations for implementation options. 

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Public Access, Education, and Outreach
Public Access
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The Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve Multimodal Access Study began in July 2021. The goals of the project were to:

  • Evaluate existing preserve parking, access and visitation.
  • Identify strategies to address parking and traffic issues, manage visitation and increase greener modes of transit.
  • Develop an implementation plan for recommended strategies. 

The results and recommendations that came out of this study will help inform other projects happening concurrently in Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve including the Purisima-to-the-Sea Trail and Parking Area Project and the Highway 35 Multiuse Trail Crossing and Parking Lot Expansion Feasibility Study which is exploring the possibility of extending and connecting the Bay Area Ridge Trail at this preserve. 

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Project Details

The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing parking resources and access at the Preserve, clarify the parking and access challenges that exist, understand visitor behavior and visitation patterns, identify strategies that will address parking demand and traffic issues, increase greener modes of transit and better manage visitation, and develop an implementation plan. The study sought a variety of transportation demand management solutions that responded to Purisima Creek Redwood’s unique location, environment, visitation characteristics and access conditions.

Purisima Creek Redwoods Multimodal Access Study Area

The project scope of work included: 

  • Surveying visitors at the three existing parking areas during peak visitation. 
  • Collecting data on visitors per car, type of visitor and traffic and circulation patterns.
  • Assessing existing trailheads and the potential Purisima-to-the-Sea Trail parking area.
  • Engaging public stakeholders.
  • Supporting diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
  • Developing an implementable action plan with clear next steps.

In a special meeting on November 9 at 5 p.m., the Midpen board of directors reviewed and approved the findings and recommendations of the Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve Multimodal Access and Transportation Demand Management Study report. 

The board concluded that District staff should incorporate high priority transportation demand management strategies into the Purisima-to-the-Sea Trail and Parking project and evaluate those that can be accommodated in the Highway 35 Crossing and Parking project. Additional strategies will be reviewed by the board for inclusion in the 3-Year Capital Improvement and Action Plan (CIAP) and annual budget based on available resources. 


June 23, 2021Public meeting: Midpen board of directors awarded contract to a consultant for the Purisima Creek Redwoods Multimodal Access Study.
December 1, 2021Public workshop: Multimodal project update provided with Purisima-to-the-Sea presentation to Midpen board of directors. (Agenda, staff report and minutes)
Summer 2021 - Summer 2022Conduct study and engage with community stakeholders.
March 15, 2022Public meeting: Preliminary findings and transportation demand management strategies presented to Midpen Planning & Natural Resources Committee. (Agenda, staff report and minutes)
November 9, 2022Public meeting: Midpen board of directors approved final report. (Agenda, staff report and minutes)