Point Lobos Trail Reopening
April 26, 2012
Finally there is a snippet of good news from our local state parks. In mid-June, Point Lobos State Park is planning to reopen its Bird Island Trail, which has been under construction for the last year. The project is essentially a renovation of the existing trail to include full accessibility for disabled persons.
It’s a refreshing development in wake of the coming closure of four state parks in Monterey County this July.
In terms of trail maintenance projects, the Bird Island Trail has undergone some pretty large-scale improvements. The features of the new trail will include: a bridge over an erosion gully, rock walls, accessible benches and picnic table, and an accessible overlook at Pelican Point.
The majority of the labor has been done by California Conservation Corps, a youth development program aimed at work readiness skills. Corps crew members have been staying in tents on state park property across from Point Lobos.
“For almost a year to date, we have been camping out there,” says Janet Wohlgemuth, the corps’ local acting director. “[Crew members] have been able to watch the birds migrate out, and now they have come back.”
She is particularly proud of the work done on the unmortared rock walls, where crew members have brought in the rocks one by one: “Sometimes it took the crew a whole week to find the rock that fit in place.”
In the end, the project will have amounted to about $750,000, two years of planning and a little more than a year of construction. The Bird Island Trail project is bond funded under Proposition 84 (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006).
Point Lobos is one of 250 projects aimed at making California State Parks more accessible to disabled persons, the result of a settlement from a class action lawsuit filed against the California State Parks in 2005.
Larry Tierney, the Monterey District’s facility manager for California State Parks, explains that the Bird Island Trail project has been rather drawn out, but the end is in sight. “The finish date is somewhat of a floating target,” he says, “But look out for a ribbon cutting ceremony this June. ”