Imagine lacing up your shoes in the baylands east of Redwood City, walking west and traveling all the way up and over the Santa Cruz mountains, and crossing four north-south running regional trails on your way to the Pacific Ocean. The possibility of making this extraordinary trek on what we are calling the “Bay to Sea Trail” is becoming more and more likely.

While the entire 40-mile trip may seldom be traveled in one fell swoop, a trail of this nature would be a boon to the many communities living along its path using local segments. Giving people who live in urban areas the access and opportunity to experience a continuous trail from the San Francisco Bay across the Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean has been a vision of POST’s for decades. And we’ve been hard at work protecting land along the Bay to Sea Trail’s route in coordination with a variety of dedicated partners who share this vision.


Take a flight over the proposed Bay to Sea Trail route, an audacious shared vision for a trail traversing the Peninsula. Aerial support provided by LightHawk.

Our tenacity is paying off. Late last year, we took a significant step forward along with 10 other agencies and organizations who are committed to seeing this complex project through to completion. All 11 of the participating partners signed a letter of intent (LOI) expressing our mutual commitment to collaborating on this ambitious long-term project.

The LOI is a critical milestone that has been over 40 years in the making: The concept of a continuous trail across the Peninsula was first discussed by the founders of POST and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in the late 1970s. This vision translated into decades of work with our partners to identify and protect key parcels of land from the Bay to Skyline Ridge and running west to the ocean.

Project partners include:

Map of the Bay to Sea Trail.
Click to zoom in.

We envision the eastern end of the trail would begin at both Redwood City’s Bair Island and the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve in East Palo Alto. These and other trailheads would make the trail accessible for many urban communities. From there, the trail would head into the hills and make its way through protected open spaces such as Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Lobitos Ridge, Phleger Estate, Wavecrest Open Space and others before reaching Half Moon Bay and the ocean.

By formalizing our shared vision for the Bay to Sea Trail, POST and our partners have solidified the purpose and intention of our multi-faceted coalition. Our LOI ensures that even though things may change throughout this very long-term project, the commitments that we have made will be carried forward, regardless of what the future brings. Coming together, we also strengthen the appeal of this project for future funders and the public — key sources of the financial support that we will need to keep the project moving forward.

Plans this grand take time, patience and persistence. This is exactly what POST and our partners are exceptionally good at. We are excited about this important agreement, and hope to one day look back at this as a shining moment when our dream of a Bay to Sea Trail took a significant step toward becoming a reality.

Learn more about our public access program here.


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About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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