City nears trail finish line

March 27, 2007 11:00 pm
By the end of summer 2008, a pedestrian and bicycle path- along with a bridge over Elk Creek along U.S. Hwy 101 at the S curve- could complete Crescent City's portion of the California Coastal Trail. (The Daily Triplicate/Hilary Corrigan).
By the end of summer 2008, a pedestrian and bicycle path- along with a bridge over Elk Creek along U.S. Hwy 101 at the S curve- could complete Crescent City's portion of the California Coastal Trail. (The Daily Triplicate/Hilary Corrigan).

By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

Crescent City aims to go to bid within the next two months on a plan that would complete the city's portion of the 1,300-mile California Coastal Trail.

The north segment of the Harbor Trail would connect the path that ends near the Cultural Center to Crescent City Harbor.

In Crescent City, the state-long coastal trail meanders along roads and walkways from Pebble Beach to Beachfront Park.

The more than $1.2 million project, funded mostly through the California Coastal Conservancy and local government groups, would replace the existing small path from the Cultural Center to Elk Creek with a 10-foot wide asphalt pedestrian and bicycle trail. The would continue as a small bridge over the creek to the city-owned Shoreline RV Park.

"This is outstanding local nature," said city planner Will Caplinger of the stream, its visiting birds and bordering plants.

The city has already purchased the more than 1 acre, grassy stretch just south of Elk Creek, fronting the RV park on U.S. Highway 101's southbound lanes.

That section would act as a trailhead, hosting a small parking lot, restrooms, landscaping and signs with information on local wildlife and plants.

The trail would continue along the existing Sunset Circle, a small road that reaches behind the buildings on 101's southbound lanes and connects at the Elk Valley Road intersection, where city limits end.

Construction could start this year and finish in summer 2008.

In a separate design project, a three-foot wide pedestrian path would also stretch from the bridge between the creek and the RV park to the coast, then continue along the state-owned beach to the harbor, said California Coastal Conservancy project manager Michael Bowen.

"Providing the public with easy access to the coast," Bowen said of the trail's main goal.

The city has asked the state agency to consider buying the private land between the RV park and the harbor.

"We're exploring that concept," Bowen said. "We're certainly looking at it."

The California Coastal Trail gives a public right-of-way, without motorized vehicles, as close to the Pacific Ocean as possible while spotlighting local attractions and links to other trails.

Reach Hilary Corrigan at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it