It has taken over four decades and more than $100 million, but a new hiking trail is now open in California. Throughout the decades, the challenges of completing the project involved the infrastructure, as well as political issues. Much of the trail has actually been ready for years, but the National Park Service needed to obtain three portions of privately-owned land to close the gaps and create a complete trail.
With the 67-mile Backbone Trail now fully complete, it is time for new adventures with beautiful sites of the oceanfront canyons and chaparral ridges through the undeveloped land of Southern California. The trail spans across the Santa Monica Mountains from Los Angeles County to Ventura County, resembling a smaller version of the Pacific Crest Trail.
According to the National Park Service, 40-acres of the land was donated by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and fitness entrepreneur Betty Wielder. Executive director for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Joseph T. Edmiston stated that the completion of the Backbone Trail shows the true strength of the Conservancy’s power of idealism, shared values, and determination of its personnel.
For now, there are limited options for overnight camping, but there is a possibility that more options will be available in the future. Grocery stores, restaurants, and wineries are in close-proximity to the trail, just in case hikers want to enjoy those amenities.
Grab your hiking shoes; it is time to experience the all-new Backbone Trail.