Recreational Trails Plan 2024 Update

This year, California State Parks will hold public forums to reassess the Plan’s twelve Goals to reflect the current needs for trail management. For more information on the current Plan Goals click here. Public forums to be held this year will be posted soon. 

During this update, we will also be reviewing regional trails to be added or removed from our Statewide Trail Corridor Map. Follow the link below to submit your ideas, opinions, or suggestions.

California Recreational Trails Plan Feedback

What is the Plan?

The California Recreational Trails Plan (“the Plan”) is a guide produced by California State Parks for all California agencies and recreation providers that manage trails. Strong relationships between trail experts statewide continue to improve our trail networks by aligning trails and programs for maximum continuity. The Plan includes information on:

  • The benefits of trails
  • How to acquire funding
  • Effective stewardship
  • How to encourage cooperation among different trail users

The Plan assesses present and future demand for trails and recommends an integrated system of trail routes.

Preparation of a recreational trails plan was authorized by the Legislature in 1978 as an element of the California Recreational Trails Act (Public Resources Code Section 5070-5077.8).

California Recreational Trails Plan
2011 Trail Plan Progress Report
Program Goals Summary and Update
California Trail Corridors
Trail Corridor 2011 Update

Read the Plan by clicking below (1 MB pdf): 

Recreational Trails Plan

Why is the Plan important?

The ability to exercise and enjoy nature is critical to the physical and mental health of Californians. California State Parks surveys show that the state’s trails provide experiences that attract more users than any other type of recreational facility.  Whether hiking on a narrow back-country trail or bicycling on a paved multi-use trail, California residents and visitors clearly enjoy trails.  Thus helping local agencies develop, manage and maintain trails is an important part of providing Californians the opportunity for healthy outdoor exercise.

The state’s increasing population translates to an increasing demand for trails which puts additional pressure on local recreation providers who plan, maintain and manage trails. While many providers recognize the importance of trails, they may be unfamiliar with developing an integrated trail management system.  The Plan’s Goals and Action Guidelines offer help. For example, to help obtain funding for trail projects, agencies can align their trail system with the Plan; thus offering continuity to the user and extending the statewide trail network.