The Cabrillo Connection trail will open to the public on Friday, March 28, 2014 at daybreak.  This new County-owned trail will provide an easily accessible route between Cabrillo College and the main western multiuse trail into The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, and can be used by hikers, runners, leashed dogs and their owners, students, and bicyclists from daybreak to dusk seven days/week.

 An event to celebrate the opening of the Cabrillo Connection will be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 1p.m.  Everyone, including kids, bikers, and leashed dogs, is encouraged to show up with drums, kazoos, horns and other noise-makers for a celebratory parade through the moderately-challenging, mile long trail as it crosses through grasslands and corridors of oaks, madrones, and firs.  The event on Saturday will start at Kamian Way off Danube Dr. in the Vienna Woods neighborhood in Aptos.

 The Cabrillo Connection is a Santa Cruz County trail easement that was obtained in 2008 as a settlement between the County and the owners/developers of the privately-owned acreage to allow the owners to secure approval for their hillside home.  In return, the owners agreed to provide the 16-foot wide trail easement through their property to the County.

 For over 60 years hikers, bikers and dog walkers used the many trails that cut through the acreage to access the key western entrance to the Nisene Marks State Park until the property was purchased by the developers and access was denied.  Now, thanks to the dedication and determination of a number of people this new County trail is a reality and open for public use.   Members of Nisene2Sea, and, in particular, Kathryn Britton, one of the organization’s founders, have worked tirelessly for this access trail, as did former Supervisor Ellen Pirie and her analyst, Robin Musitelli, who both spent years negotiating with the owners to establish and secure the trail route.

For more information about the trail and the work of Nisene2Sea, please contact Kathryn Britton at 831.688.7724 or kbritton@ix.netcom.com.  Nisene2Sea is dedicated to preserving open space corridors for people and wildlife.

A huge THANKS goes to the many committed groups and individuals that made this trail possible, including Nisene 2 Sea, especially Kathryn Britton; former County Supervisor, Ellen Pirie and her analyst Robin Musitelli; County personnel including Betsey Lynberg and Gretchen Iliff of the Parks and Recreation Department; and the California Conservation Corps, who cut through the poison oak (yes, it’sstill there, popping out along the trail edges) and bramble to clear the trail.

The Carmichaels have continued to confront anyone hiking or biking on the County trail easement up ‘til this point by claiming trail users were trespassing on their private property.  Well, now that the trail is officially opened this week, everyone including bicyclists and dog walkers will have a safe path on the County owned Cabrillo Connection trail through the Carmichael property.

LAST REMINDERS

 Whenever you use the trail, please remember to pick up after your dog and stay on the trail and not on the Carmichael’s private property.

Also, be aware that there may be confusion about the County trail route trail where the Carmichael’s dirt road crosses the Cabrillo Connection in a grassy area near Cabrillo. The Carmichaels dirt road route is not the County trail.   If you are coming from the Kamian Way or Mesa Grande entrances, go across the dirt road and follow the narrow trail to the right of the road.  The Cabrillo Connection easement travels parallel to but above this cleared route on its way to Cabrillo property.  There are trail signs at the beginning of the trail at Kamian Way and at the horticulture gate at Cabrillo College for now; more soon…