Little River Trail advances coastal connectivity

The Little River Trail. Via Trinidad Coastal Land Trust

Trinidad Coastal Land Trust

WESTHAVEN/TRINIDAD – The Little River Trail Project will connect the Westhaven/Trinidad area to the Hammond Coastal Trail and our community’s expanding regional trail system.

  As the Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata nears completion and families and individuals have flocked to trails and natural areas during the pandemic, a new trail project seeks to connect the Westhaven/Trinidad area to the Hammond Coastal Trail and our community’s expanding regional trail system. Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA), with funding from the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) and under a cooperative agreement with Caltrans, is working with partners to advance the Little River Trail, a non-motorized trail separated from but parallel to Highway 101 connecting Scenic Drive in Westhaven to Clam Beach Drive. 

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Currently, Highway 101, with speeds of 65 mph-plus, is the only route for walking or biking between the communities of McKinleyville and Westhaven. When complete, the Little River Trail will provide a safe, separated route for biking and walking over the Little River and will complete a significant gap in the California Coastal Trail.

 This current SCC grant is supporting technical studies to analyze trail alignments and potential impacts, community outreach to understand community needs and preferences for the trail, preliminary engineering designs, and CEQA and NEPA environmental documentation. 

While RCAA is leading this phase of preliminary design and environmental documentation, Caltrans will be leading the subsequent phases of design, construction, and eventual maintenance of the Little River Trail. Public support will be essential to advance these future phases of the trail project.

 RCAA is working closely with Trinidad Coastal Land Trust (TCLT) to lead community outreach efforts for the Little River Trail. TCLT has been a community champion for the trail, helping to advocate for funding and also acquiring the property at the south end of Scenic Drive, which will eventually serve as a trailhead. 

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Community members are welcomed to share their experiences and input on the project through an on-line survey at and participate in upcoming community engagement events for the Little River Trail.

 TCLT and RCAA will first be hosting small group walking tours of the Little River Trail area and prospective improvements at Moonstone Beach on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 13 between 9 a.m. to noon. 

TCLT is exploring the possibility of acquiring the Moonstone Beach property, adjacent to the northern end of the Little River Trail, for public access. The Land Trust is seeking input from the community about what improvements they would like to see at Moonstone Beach and their vision for the area. The walking tours will follow public health guidance and be outside, require that everyone wear a face covering, be physically-distanced and require RSVP to participate. 

To RSVP, contact the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust office at [email protected] or call (707) 677-2501 to reserve a time slot on a walking tour and receive details for time and meeting location. 

RCAA and TCLT will provide an overview of the project, share opportunities for connecting the Scenic Drive area to the Hammond Coastal Trail, and discuss topographical and design constraints in the project area.

A virtual community workshop focused on the Little River Trail is being planned for spring 2021 to share preliminary opportunities and constraints for trail design and alignment and engage community members in design considerations. 

Community input during these winter and spring outreach events will inform preliminary design and alignment considerations for the Little River Trail but will not be included as public comment as part of Caltrans’ CEQA/NEPA process for which a public hearing will be held in fall 2021. Community involvement and support will be integral to ensure funding and completion of the Little River Trail.

For more information about the Little River Trail project and community input opportunities visit

Via Trinidad Coastal Land Trust

Little River Trail Project Fact Sheet ​

​To prioritize and fund this proposed section of the California Coastal Trail, connecting Hammond Trail at Clam Beach to Trinidad’s Scenic Drive.

• Recent Project Progress:

2014: LRT Feasibility Study completed (website link)

2015: Priority Parcel Acquired by Land Trust (TCLT)

2016 : a). TCLT as lead project advocate

b) HCAOG Assistance Grant

c) Alternative Transportation Program (ATP) Grant submitted/denied

2017: City of Trinidad relinquishes project lead for ATP grant

2018: CalTrans takes project lead and submits 2018 ATP grant; ATP grant declined. Only one out of nine Humboldt County ATP proposals accepted.

2019: Project partner Redwood Community Action Agency receives $900K for Phase 1: environmental engineering, design and permits. 

Early 2022: CEQA, NEPA documentation anticipated to be complete.

• Project Status:

Project ready for permitting and construction

Parcel ownerships supportive and easements confirmed

Phase 1: Funding for Engineered Designs, CEOA and Env. Permits

• Regional Planning Support:

Humboldt County Coastal Trail implementation Strategy

Community scoping meetings for the Humboldt County Regional Trails Master Plan

Hammond Coastal Trail Extension Analysis: From Trinidad to Fortuna

HCAOG Regional Transportation Plan

County Local Coastal Program

Humboldt County Regional Trails Master Plan



One Comment;

  1. John Miller said:

    The likelihood that Scenic Drive will provide connectivity in a warming world is doubtful…