LandPaths' Happenings Blog

A Trail's Happy Ending, and Beginning

Tam From ESlope 132116 years from when LandPaths and other partners first began work on this project, the 1.3-mile, East Slope of the Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail, extending from Jack London State Park, passing over numerous privately held tracts of land, and offering expansive views of the Sonoma Valley and San Francisco Bay, has at long last, been approved.

Since its inception in 1996, LandPaths has found its relevance and obligation in seeking out unprecedented solutions to provide for public access and the public good. In November of 1997, Craig Anderson strategized and signed an agreement with the McCrea Family to plan for, design and build a trail across their family land.

It was land that the District had just preserved forever and the agreement was heralded as one of only a handful in the county to link public parks with a trail access across private land. This was the beginning of what has now been approved as the East Slope of the Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail.

LandPaths received grants for the project and actually completed construction upon the stretch of trail over the McCrea property. However, months prior to the trail opening, the McCrea property was sold and lawyers discovered that the paperwork granting the county an easement had never been completed, allowing the new buyer to reject the trail, even though it was already under construction.

LandPaths and other partners pursued nearly a decade of legal action with these new owners, steadfast in our mission to find creative solutions that will get the people of Sonoma County outside and connecting with their local landscape. Over these years, Craig spent many hours in the field, deepening relationships with landowners and keeping the vision of this trail alive. This time spent face to face, with boots on the ground, eventually resulted in new agreements that led to this week's final approval. 

LandPaths is delighted to witness this fantastic movement forward. Final approval to begin construction (again) on the East Slope of Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail demonstrates a willingness by private landowners to work together with local and state agencies and local nonprofits in the name of the public good.

Posted by Meg Hamill at 10:44
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