For the first time, the public will have the opportunity to hike a scenic section of trail through Skylawn Memorial Park after a new link of the Bay Area Ridge Trail opened Tuesday.
Janet McBride, executive director of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, said the public can expect “beautiful views of the surrounding ridgelines. Just a feeling of remoteness and being in nature. There really is some spectacular views of ridgelines and peaks, you can actually see the watershed and Mount Umunhum, which is the second tallest peak in the whole ridge trail network. You get views of the ocean, you can actually get 360 degree views.”
The Skylawn Memorial Park, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Mateo County Department of Parks and the ridge trail council joined to open the two new miles of a 13-mile stretch from San Bruno to State Route 92.
The new portion is paved and the ridge trail council specifically waited until Tuesday to open it, McBride said.
May 13 marked the ridge trail council’s 25th anniversary since it dedicated its very first trail, which was also in San Mateo County, McBride said.
The group now has about 340 miles of dedicated trail out of its ultimate goal of 550 miles, McBride said.
“The idea of the ridge trail is to create a complete, connected hiking, biking, equestrian trail on the ridge lines surrounding the San Francisco Bay,” McBride said.
Tuesday’s opening was a great accomplishment and the 2 miles added to San Mateo County’s current 40 miles of dedicated trail, but there are still 20 more miles to go, McBride said.
“It’s been a long time coming. It’s been a detailed process of planning with the Skylawn Cemetery folks to dedicate it as part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and it just finally was negotiating in terms of having a public entity stepping up to take on maintenance responsibilities. San Mateo County Parks is going to take care of the trail on an ongoing basis,” McBride said.
Another mile to the north needs to be dedicated to the trail to connect the Skylawn portion to the Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail in the SFPUC watershed, McBride said. Just south, another 6 miles of trail are being built and will open in 2016. However, creating a safe crossing over State Route 92 will be difficult, McBride said.
For more information visit www.ridgetrail.org.
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