Public Access Restored to Sea Ranch Beach
July 31, 2014
Public access to “Walk On Beach," a quarter-mile of sandy shore in The Sea Ranch,
is restored after years of trail closure. The reopening is the result of an
agreement between Sonoma County and The Sea Ranch Association that shifts a
portion of the public path onto open space held in common by the private
Walk On Beach is near the northern end of the coastal development and is one of five
Sea Ranch beaches with access trails managed by Sonoma County Parks. For years,
the public reached Walk On Beach from a Highway 1 trail that connects to a
bluff-top path to the beach. Incremental erosion and severe storms washed away
a section of the bluff trail just north of the beach in 2003, and the damage
required closing this final leg of the public access.
In the intervening years, Regional Parks collaborated with homeowners on options
for repairing or realigning the eroded trail segment. Consensus was reached
earlier this year on a plan to move the trail inland a few feet onto the Sea
Ranch commons. Sonoma County Supervisors and The Sea Ranch Association in April
approved a Revocable License Agreement that calls for the county to manage the
trail segment for up to 20 years. The Sea Ranch Association completed the trail
work in July, and beach access is fully restored.
The Walk On Beach trailhead continues to be located at 40101 Highway 1, in a
clearly marked parking area. To reach the beach, visitors follow a forested
trail west for .3-miles to a junction with the bluff-top trail and then walk
south on the bluff for .2-miles to a wooden staircase leading to the beach.
Regional Parks manages a total of seven public trails within The Sea Ranch. The trail
easements were granted by the developer in the 1980s to the California Coastal
Conservancy, which then deeded the easements to Sonoma County to provide public
access in perpetuity.
Some content on this page is saved in alternate format. To view these files, download
the following software.
for downloading compressed files