Devil's Slide: Not Even the Pedestrian Trail Comes Easy

Categories: Transportation

devils-slide.jpg
Jared Boggess
It's never easy with the Devil's Slide. As we noted in our feature earlier this month, "The Siege of Devil's Slide", generations of men have worked to tame San Pedro Mountain's infamous Pacific coast stretch. But rockslides, and ferocious waves, and blinding fog, geologic conditions inside the mountain, and treacherous terrain on top of it have stymied efforts.

And even now, after man has successfully conquered the mountain with a fancy new tunnel, a new problem has emerged: a landowner won't sell to the city of Pacifica the land it needs to complete the future trail that will span from the Devil's Slide cliffs to the Pacifica State Beach.

It's not quite as dramatic as the previous obstacles.

See Also: Assault on Devil's Slide: A 150-Year Tale of Man Versus Mountain

As the San Mateo County Times reported last week, 5.5 acres of Dave Colt's property sits right in the path of the proposed trail, just north of Pedro Point Headlands. In fact, it is the only missing puzzle piece. The city and the owner have been negotiating for six years, Pacifica City Manager Steve Rhodes told the paper, but the sides have failed to reach an agreement. Colt is apparently still in the process of having the land appraised.

If Colt hopes to drive a hard bargain, he certainly has some leverage. His property would link the beach and the mountain into a trail that would add a new and scenic stretch to the California Coastal Trail, which winds on-and-off from Mexico to Oregon. The Devil's Slide trail will sit where Highway 1 used to, before the twin-bore tunnels opened to drivers in late March. So, like the old roadway, it will overlook the ocean-- except without the dangers of colliding with swerving tractor-trailers or rolling your car into the ocean.

But it hasn't been all stress for the San Mateo County parks system. Thanks to some new funds from the recently passed Measure A, the Board of Supervisors added seven new positions to the parks department, including two park rangers designated to Devil's Slide, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The trail is set to open in 2014.


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