The Land Conservancy hosted Discovery Days at the 900-acre Pismo Preserve on Sunday, allowing hikers to walk the preserve without a trail guide for the day.
The event was the first of four scheduled Discovery Days through early May.
On Discovery Days, visitors can take a Ride on SLO shuttle free from the Pismo Beach City Hall or Dolphin Bay Resort parking lot. The shuttles run every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They pick up hikers from the preserve until 6 p.m. Visitors can also ride a bicycle in.
There is no public parking available at the preserve trailhead.
Land Conservancy stewardship manager Dylan Theobald said Discovery Days is an invitation for the public to experience the preserve as it's intended, with free public access.
Theobald said construction bids are now out for roadway and parking lot improvements, as well as an ADA-accessible trail.
"Once we get the bids back, we'll know if we have enough money to do the improvements or if we'll need more money," Theobald said. "My hope is the preserve will be closed this summer because we'll be under construction. Our projected timeline is to finish the improvements by the end of 2018, hopefully."
Land Conservancy Executive Director Kaila Dettman added, "We're waiting on a couple of grants, and I'm optimistic we'll get there. We have a lot of people helping make this happen. They know we're a nonprofit and are helping us get this (project) done."
Dettman estimated about 650 people turned out Sunday to enjoy the trails.
The Land Conservancy will host three more Discovery Days on Sundays, April 8, April 22 and May 6, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.