Pedro Point Headlands Restoration & Stewardship

Restoring Pedro Point Headlands

Volunteers at workFor decades, Pedro Point Headlands was the site of unrestricted off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, leaving bare scars and gullies. These created erosion into San Pedro Creek, impacting threatened steelhead and California red-legged frogs. It also resulted in landslides, which threatened to flow onto Highway 1 and the future California Coastal Trail area. While many scars have healed, some persist and continue to erode.

The Pacifica Land Trust is rallying the community to restore the beauty and health of the Pedro Point Headlands. Together with the community and our partners, we can restore this unique coastal ecosystem and improve the trails.

Restoration Goals

  • Properly fill and eliminate existing gullies and past OHV damage;
  • Re-establish the natural topography and drainage in the highly eroded coastal bluff areas;
  • Restore disturbed trails and gullies to Coastal Prairie and Coastal Scrub vegetation;
  • With the help of volunteer stewards, propagate and salvage native plants; and
  • Incorporate a trail design and construction plan to build safe, sustainable pedestrian trails.

Trails

As part of the Point Pedro Headlands restoration project, the existing footpaths will be replaced with safer, more sustainable pedestrian trails. When the California Coastal Trail is completed, it will allow hikers and nature lovers to connect to the trails at the headlands.

Progress

  • Go Native, a local habitat restoration company, has completed Phase I of construction. New switchbacks and other areas on the South Ridge Trail were roughed out, the Bluff Trail between the South Ridge Trail and the head of the Arroyo Trail has been improved, and the trail accessing the Middle Ridge Trail from the South has also been constructed. Contouring was refined and erosion control fabric and wattles installed to ensure that all construction areas are safeguarded from erosion. Phase II of the construction will begin in the summer or early fall of 2017.
  • PlantsThe on-site native plant nursery is up and running. The shade structure is in place, tables and pallets are installed, and the plants are thriving. Approximately 5,000 plants have been propagated and salvaged and are awaiting out-planting. An additional 2,000 plants have been donated.
  • For hikers, all the trails remain open. A kiosk has been installed at the trail head of the South Ridge Trail. Please refer to the kiosk for updates on the project.
  • PlantingsThe hillside in the picture here is a restored meadow where we are concentrating on plants used by butterflies and their caterpillars.  Invasive broom, pampas grass and cottoneaster were removed, and lupins, buckwheat, yarrow, etc. have been planted.
  • New water tanks have been installed. Water will be used to control dust, compact new trail, and irrigate native plants in the on-site nursery.
  • Go Native collected fallen debris from the Devils Slide Trail bluffs, cleared the storm drains, and stockpiled 350 cubic yards of fill at PPH for use next year.  The large amount of available fill will permit elimination of gullies and reduction of steep trail grades without having to disturb as much native vegetation as anticipated.
  • The City of Pacifica Coastal Development Permit was approved and during the 2017 construction season the social trails on the small portion of PPH that lies within the Pacifica city limits will be decommissioned.Girl Scouts Pack 32123 from Dec 4th
  • Volunteers in the stewardship program meet monthly to care for the land. Volunteers grow and plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers – and provide a variety of crucial help. Learn more.
  • The Pacifica Land Trust received a Measure A grant from San Mateo County.  Learn More. 

Funding

The California State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Division awarded the PLT a $1,137,274 grant for Point Pedro Headlands Restoration. As a condition of its approval, joint land-owner California Coastal Conservancy required replacement of the existing footpaths with safer, more sustainable pedestrian trails, and contributed $12,000 toward trail design. In addition, $350,000 in San Mateo County Measure A funds have been approved for re-vegetation and trail construction. In the near future, these internal trails will be connected to the soon-to-be-built California Coastal Trail, which will skirt the southern and eastern edges of Point Pedro Headlands.

Partners

Partners are crucial to restoring the Headlands. The project is managed by the Pacifica Land Trust and funded by the California State Parks OHV Recreation Division and California Coastal Conservancy. State and local agencies and stakeholders include:

Contact

For questions or comments about the Pedro Point Headland restoration project, or to receive project updates via email, please contact Kathy Kellerman, Pacifica Land Trust Board member, at ppheadlands@gmail.com.

Get Involved

LOVE THE HEADLANDS?

If you enjoy the Headlands, please consider a tax-deductible donation to PLT.

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% of Volunteer Hours (5,000 hours needed for grant match)

Project Partners