Monterey Peninsula Foundation Awards a $100,000 Grant to make Point Lobos Safer for Visitors

The "Lace Lichen Trail Expansion" project offers four major benefits: increased safety for both pedestrians and visitors in vehicles, an improved experience for hikers who are immediately introduced to a natural environment, an improved experience for drivers and an additional access point for people with limited mobility.

Currently, the coastal trails within Point Lobos are all accessed by a single, narrow, curved roadway that now must accommodate more than 550,000 visitors each year (a 50% increase over the 367,000 visitors in 2012). This number continues to grow. With just 150 parking spaces in the Reserve, we know that the majority of new visitors are parking outside and using the main road as a trail. The resulting density of pedestrians and vehicles has created a substantial safety hazard; oftentimes strollers are seen next to bicyclists next to school groups next to hikers while cars are attempting to enter and exit.

The Lace Lichen Trail Expansion Project will create a new trail, parallel to the existing road, from the entrance kiosk to the start of the existing Lace Lichen Trail. The existing trail will be rehabilitated, and a second segment of new trail will allow visitors to continue on to the Sea Lion Point parking area. The expanded trail allows direct access from both the entry kiosk and from the parking lot and Visitor’s Station at Sea Lion Point on the coast.

The total trail length will be approximately .85 miles. This consists of improvements to the existing .45 mile Lace Lichen Trail, and adding new trail segments of approximately .11 miles and .28 miles near the entrance kiosk and Seal Lion Point, respectively. The trail will be constructed of decomposed granite (DG) retained by redwood runners.  It will be 5’ wide to accommodate the large number of visitors who are expected to use it. ADA standards will be followed in the design and construction of the trail, though full ADA certification will not be possible due to a lack of sufficient handicapped parking.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be just over $294,000. California State Parks is covering $136,575 for the California Conservation Corps to provide labor for the project, leaving the Point Lobos Foundation to raise $158,000.