Work on Montaña de Oro's Bluff Trail will make it more accessible

The two-mile hiking trail will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act once the project is finished

dsneed@thetribunenews.comNovember 13, 2013 

Over the next year, the Bluff Trail at Montaña de Oro State Park — one of San Luis Obispo County’s most scenic and popular hiking trails — will receive a major facelift to make it more accessible to the disabled.

The project will officially kick off Nov. 18 and will require that sections of the trail be periodically closed while the work is completed, said Supervising Ranger Rob Colligan. When complete, the $1.3 million project will make the entire two-mile trail compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The main problem with the trail is that is deeply rutted in many places due to erosion and lacks the sufficient number of ADA-compliant restrooms. “It’s basically a recontouring of the trail surface due to erosion and water runoff,” Colligan said.

The appearance of the trail will change temporarily because of the work, which requires that vegetation be removed and the trail widened to correct the drainage problems. The area will be revegetated with native plants and should return to a more conventional look over time.

In addition to periodic closures of sections of the trail, heavy equipment will travel on Pecho Road between the Spooner Ranch House and the Coon Creek parking lot. The public will be notified of closures via the California State Parks website, social media and signs.

All trails and trailheads inland of Pecho Road will remain open. State Parks expects the project to be complete by December 2014.

This is a complete list of the work planned:

  • Replacing two restrooms at the Coon Creek parking lot and the Bluff Trail access road with new ADA-compliant facilities.
  • Recontouring the trail to reduce erosion, reduce runoff and allow for mobility-impaired access of the entire length of the trail.
  • Installing accessible parking spaces in the parking lots at both ends of the trail.
  • Replacing an old pedestrian bridge at Coralina Cove and adding a new bridge north of Coon Creek.
  • Improving scenic overlooks by installing new decking, railings and interpretive panels.
  • Adding a new picnic area with bench and table.
  • Rerouting sections of the trail to avoid future bluff erosion and closing severely eroded sections to protect Coon Creek and other resources.

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