Building the Trail
Sempervirens Fund began building the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail in 1969 and worked over the years in partnership with California State Parks, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club, and volunteers from many trail organizations. The route was officially named the “Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail” when Sempervirens Fund purchased several properties for Big Basin Redwoods State Park, including part of the Hoover Ranch which is now the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center, that extended the Trail to the sea at Waddell State Beach in 1976. The years of work and collaboration were well worth the effort. The completed Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail offers an incredibly diverse tour of the redwood world descending from ridgetop vistas through meadows, crags, and forests of Castle Rock State Park; weaving through old-growth redwood forest, creeks, and waterfalls in Big Basin Redwoods State Park; and emerging at the Pacific Ocean at Waddell State Beach.
Today, the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is one of the most popular backpacking trails in the San Francisco Bay Area, inviting people near and far to experience the magnificence of coast redwood forests, and to understand why they are so critical to protect for wildlife and future generations. Sempervirens Fund continues to protect land near the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail to provide connected habitat that plants and wildlife need to thrive and recreational opportunities so people can enjoy them. Here is one of the most recent properties Sempervirens Fund supporters have preserved forever along the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail.
Castle Rock West
Next to Castle Rock State Park and the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, Castle Rock West’s 50 acres of coast redwood forest was one of the last unprotected inholdings of the Park until Sempervirens Fund preserved them in 2018. Castle Rock West is just north of the Waterman Gap campground, an important stopover for backpackers along the 30-mile Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. The property lies within the natural watershed boundary of Castle Rock State Park and could help to support recreation along the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail with visitor amenities in the future.