Crescent City, Ca., (KIEM)- While those who were planning to visit the Sierra National Forest have been turned away by fire conditions, Redwood National and State Parks has good news for local hikers.
By Friday, they will be re-opening the portion of the California Coastal Trail that runs from the crescent beach overlook to damnation creek trail head.
The trail had been closed for more than a year. Erosion had created unstable slopes, and a the path became too dangerous because of active landslides. Large trees and brush falling in the trail certainly didn’t help matters either. Now, the trail has been cleared and in the long term… Planning is in place to build a safer, more sustainable inland trail.
Redwood State and National Parks Release:
Redwood National and State Parks is pleased to announce that the section of the California Coastal Trail (CCT) in the parks between the Crescent Beach Overlook trailhead and the Damnation Creek trailhead will re-open for public use by Friday, July 27.
The section of the trail between Crescent Beach Overlook and the Nickel Creek/Enderts Beach area has been closed for over a year for public safety due to narrowing trail conditions caused by erosion as well as conditions caused by unstable slopes above the trail resulting in repeated active landslides. In addition, large windfall trees and brush from winter storms forced closure of the Nickel Creek to Damnation Creek section of the trail earlier this year due to unpassable, hazardous conditions.
Unless there is further erosion or landslides, the trail section between Crescent Beach Overlook and Enderts Beach will be open for the duration of the summer season. However, the Nickel Creek backcountry campground is closed and no camping will be allowed. While the trail was closed to the public, vandals repeatedly attacked and destroyed the former backcountry campground’s facilities, including ripping doors off of the vault toilets, breaking the toilets and fire rings, leaving piles of hazardous trash, and other destruction rendering the campground unusable. Public safety concerns about the deteriorating and unsafe conditions and lack of dependable access for maintenance has led to the temporary removal of the Nickel Creek backcountry campground facilities, including the backcountry restroom facility in the area.
This section of the trail will close again this fall or winter before rain events cause unsafe conditions from additional mud and rock slides. Trail conditions will be evaluated next spring to determine whether the trail can be safely reopened in its current location to provide temporary summer access once again.
Strategic planning for a safer and more sustainable inland trail will begin soon to explore routes to provide sustainable access. Other long-term planning will begin to explore possibilities to establish a new location for replacement of camping facilities impacted by these continued closures and conditions.
The vision for the California Coastal Trail (CCT) is a continuous interconnected public trail system along the 1,250-mile California coastline from the Mexican to Oregon borders. The CCT is a work in progress; of the 1250 miles of coastline, about 50% of the CCT is available and is being used by thousands of people every day. However, large sections of the trail through Del Norte and Humboldt Counties are complete, incorporating public beaches as well as established trails.
For more information, stop by any Redwood National and State Parks visitor center for current trail conditions and more information about recreational and educational opportunities and events.