A beautiful local trail was slated to open in 2020. It is now 2022 – if we’re lucky. | Local News

The San Jose Creek Trail, which winds through a narrow creek bordered by redwoods surrounded by ancient geologic formations, and traverses both state parks and lands in the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, was to open to the public in spring 2020.

But like many things slated for this spring, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned out to be an adjustable wrench, as Governor Gavin Newsom initially ordered the closure of all state parks in California, and locally, under Newsom management, state parks staff rushed to the house and quarantined more than a dozen Covid-positive cruise ship passengers at the Asilomar conference grounds, owned by the Status as of March 10, 2020.

“We didn’t know what we were doing,” says Brent Marshall, Monterey District Superintendent of State Parks, of the quarantine of cruise passengers. Then came the challenge of reopening the parks.

Meanwhile, over the next year, the general state park plan for the Carmel region was underway, culminating with the approval of the State Parks and Recreation Commission on May 21, 2021. ( As part of this process, the name of the new park where San Jose Creek is located has been changed from Point Lobos Ranch to Ishxenta, the Rumsen tribal village once located along the creek.)

One of the reasons Ishxenta has yet to open, Marshall says, is parking and security concerns along Highway 1 near Point Lobos. During the general plan process, “the focus was on reservations. Once [the trail] was finished, we realized that a reservation system is essential for this area, ”says Marshall.

The hope is to have a reservation system in place by March of next year to access both Point Lobos and Ishxenta and resolve the issues by the summer. Along with this process, State Parks is working on parking solutions, including a lot in Ishxenta and an overflow lot at Marathon Flats, a State Parks owned parcel along Highway 1 and Rio Road with room. for 99 cars. From there, a shuttle would depart for Point Lobos and, returning north, stop at Ishxenta.

Ishxenta’s sensitive archaeological and natural resources are another reason for the delay – State Parks has been in frequent consultation with local tribes to ensure they agree with any plans for the future. To that end, Marshall says, initial access to the trail may be limited to guided hikes so resources are protected.

“I know people are chomping at the bit,” he says. “We just want to make sure they have a good experience.”

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