Castle Rock State Park

Public and Stakeholder Input

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In a continuing public outreach effort California State Parks has produce a Question and Answer sheet to help inform agencies, organizations, stakeholders and the general public on issues related to the ongoing Castle Rock State Park Road and Trail Management Plan. We appreciate your input and hope you find this informational update helpful.

Question and Answer Sheet

Stakeholder Change-In-Use Workshop, August 15, 2019

A Stakeholder Workshop was held at the Henry Cowell Mountain Store on 8/15/19 from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss ideas for the road and trail management plan related to potential trail change-in-use (CIU) at Castle Rock State Park.  CIU is when the designated use of a trail (hike, bike, and/or horse) is changed.  A typical CIU request is to allow bicycle use on hiking and/or equestrian trails.  Workshop participants included groups and individuals representing different types of trail use, local land owners, and state park staff.  Workshop notes are located here.   A summary of CIU comments received from public input is available here.  The information obtained from this meeting, along with public comments, trail evaluations, and park staff input, will be used to evaluate CIU requests.  Once a preliminary determination has been made for each request, there will be an additional opportunity for the public to comment prior to final approval of any CIU request.

For more on the CIU process, please see the state parks' CIU website.


Public Comments and Staff Responses, January 29, 2019

Staff have reviewed the comments received during and following the Castle Rock Road and Trail Management Plan Open House conducted on January 29th, 2019.  The comments have been consolidated and summarized and responses provided as to how the comment will be evaluated and/or addressed in the plan.  The list of comments and responses is now available for download here.  This document will be updated periodically as new comments are submitted.

Please note that many of the comments have been summarized for brevity and may not include the full comment as submitted.  In some cases, multiple comments containing similar subject matter have been consolidated into one inclusive comment.  Comments and suggestions will be evaluated on an individual basis regardless of the number of comments received on a topic.  Therefore, if you see a comment that already iterates your concern, there is no need to submitted the same comment again.  If you feel a submitted comment has not been correctly documented or if you have additional comments on the Castle Rock Road and Trail Management Plan, please submit them to with the title “Castle Rock Road and Trail Management Plan."


Initial 2010 Trail Planning Effort

A Series of stakeholder meetings were held with various user groups, such as equestrian and mountain biking clubs, to collect data and input on plan proposals. A summary of user comments gathered during that time is available here. User Surveys were conducted at the park in 2010. The results of these surveys are located here.

Planning Milestones and Timeline

Timeframes include the entire time needed to complete the task including time for staff to develop the draft and time for the public to comment. The timeframes are estimates only and could vary depending on departmental priorities and planning needs.

  1. 1. Develop the RTMP planning team.  (Complete)
  2. 2. Trail Inventory and Mapping.  (Complete)
  3. 3. Public and Stakeholder Input.  (Initiated and ongoing)
  4. 4. Evaluate and Synthesize data.  (Initiated and ongoing)
  5. 5. Administrative Draft is developed and circulated for 30 days of intra-departmental review.  (3-4 months)
  6. 6. Public Draft is developed and released for 30 days of public review and comment.  (3-5 months)
  7. 7. Final Draft RTMP/Environmental Document.  Changes are made to the Public Draft as appropriate based on public comments and a Final Draft Plan including the appropriate draft environmental document is released.  Additional public comments are solicited through the environmental review process as required by CEQA (typically 30 days for public comment). ( 4-6 months)
  8. 8. Final RTMP/Environmental Document.  Department staff receive and evaluate public comments and respond as appropriate per CEQA guidelines. The draft may be modified, as necessary, to incorporate public comments or concerns. The final RTMP and associated environmental document are produced and recommended for adoption. (2-3 months)

 Total estimated time for plan completion is 18 months.

Background Information

The Castle Rock State Park (SP) staff is currently developing a management plan for the park’s system of roads and trails. The park has a number of official roads and trails available for use, including the northern most trailhead for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail - a 30-mile, three-day trail hike. 

The Castle Rock SP General Plan (2000) recognized that "some of the old roadways now serve as trails and are the primary facilities that exist for the public’s use. Random off-trail use is causing soil erosion, with loss of vegetation and degradation of wildlife habitat. Therefore, existing activities and potential use areas needed to be evaluated relative to resource significance, and guidelines developed for appropriate management and use. Castle Rock State Park is also interconnected within a larger system of regional trails and open space recreation areas. State park trails connect to regional trails in the Sanborn-Skyline County Park, Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve, San Lorenzo Valley Water District and Big Basin Redwoods State Park, where they extend to the Pacific Ocean and to the San Francisco Bay."

The General Plan further states that "A Unit Trails Plan should be prepared that strives to create opportunities for visitors to enjoy the unique and diverse topography, geology, biotic communities, and scenic views at Castle Rock State Park. The actual location, distance, and use of future trails should be governed by this plan."

The purpose of the Road and Trail Management Plan is to provide specific direction for the long term construction, maintenance, and management of the roads and trails system.  Specifically, the plan will:
• Determine which roads and trails should be maintained, removed, and/or enhanced. 
• Identify which of the unofficial trails should be removed and which should be made official.  
• Determine the types of trail uses (e.g. hiking, biking, and/or equestrian) that are appropriate on each road and trail.  
• Identify those roads and trails that lead to damage of the natural and cultural resources of the park, for example a trail that passes through an area of sensitive natural resources, and need to be re-routed and/or reconstructed.  
• Identify trail connections necessary to create trail loops and/or connect to trails outside the park.  
• Identify  opportunities for new trails, where appropriate 
• Identify necessary trail facilities, such as restrooms, parking, and drinking water

Castle Rock Draft Trails Plan (2010)

A committee of knowledgeable citizen volunteers from the several user and interest groups, as well as park staff, formed the Castle Rock Citizens Trails Committee in 2000.    This group worked with park staff and stakeholders between 2000-2010 to develop the Castle Rock State Park Draft Trails Plan.  The information and recommendations contained in this draft plan will be extensively evaluated during in this planning effort.

Castle Rock Draft Trails Plan (2010)

Castle Rock Draft Trails Plan (2010)-Appendicies

Data Collection

The first stage of the planning process is to evaluate the existing condition of the roads and trails in the park and the permitted uses of each, and develop an inventory of each road and trail feature and condition. This information is then used to evaluate road and trail conditions and associated effects to natural and cultural resources.  A variety of documents is developed to describe and illustrate these inventories and assessments, which can be viewed via the links below.

Existing Conditions Maps

Vicinity Map
Existing Roads and Trails Map
Erosion Severity Map
Road and Trail Structure Problem Severity Map
Potential Significance to Water Resources and Drainage Structure Condition Map
Landscape Features Map
Sustainability and General Recommendations Map  


Proposals to change the types of uses permitted on a trail (i.e., proposals to add biking and/or equestrians to a trail) will be evaluated using the process described in the related Program Environmental Impact Report, available here.  A flow chart of this process is available here.  The form that will be used to evaluate each proposed Change-In-Use at Castle Rock SP is available here.