Marks Ranch Purchased by County Parks
August 30, 2012
The rolling oak woodlands just south of Salinas have a new 113 acres of county parkland as of Aug. 29, thanks to $2.7 million in grants from the California Department of Fish and Game and the Wildlife Conservation Board.
Located along Highway 68 next to Toro County Park, the Monterey County Parks Department acquired Marks Ranch with the purpose of protecting a sensitive habitat corridor that stretches from Fort Ord lands to the Ventana Wilderness. (Above, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, and Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, tour the newly designated Fort Ord National Monument and look out on adjacent open and agricultural lands.)
Big Sur Land Trust owns 79 acres in Mark Ranch, where fourth-generation ranchers, the Violini familiy, will continue to maintain an active ranching operation under stewardship guidelines developed in partnership with the Trust. The trust acquired the 816-acre property in 2007 for $4.75 million.
Marks Ranch is accessible to hikers through Toro Park via the East Ridge Trail, the East Toyon Trail and Marks Canyon Trail which then connects to the Black Mountain Trail. Plans for an accessible trail from Toro Park’s Buckeye Picnic Area to the old Marks Ranch House are in development.