Hike the Anza Trail through Fort Ord National Monument
by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner
On April 20, 2012, President Obama signed a proclamation to designate Fort Ord National Monument. The former military installation holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula.
In his proclamation, the President recognized the significance of the Anza Trail at Fort Ord: “The area is also notable for its historical significance, including its role in the Spanish settlement of California.... Nearly two and a half centuries ago, as Americans fought for independence far to the east, these lands were traversed by a group of settlers led by Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza... The undeveloped expanse of the Fort Ord area is likely quite similar to the open landscape experienced by Anza and by the Costanoan (now commonly referred to as Ohlone) peoples who lived in what is now the Central Coast region of California.”
TRAILHEADS AND ROUTE
The Anza Trail at Fort Ord roughly follows the route taken by the Anza Expedition colonists on the day of their arrival at the Presidio of Monterey on March 10, 1776, and can be accessed via trailheads at either end of the 5-mile route.
To reach the easterly Creekside trailhead, exit the Monterey-Salinas Highway (Highway 68) at Reservation Rd. (Exit 20), turn north and then left onto Portola Dr./Creekside Terrace. This trailhead is a large developed facility with picnic tables, restrooms and a paved parking lot, as well as a gravel parking lot designed to accommodate horse trailers.
The Badger Hills trailhead, near the west end of the trail, is a newly developed facility with restrooms and a paved parking lot as well as a gravel parking lot designed to accommodate horse trailers. It is located adjacent to Hwy. 68 west of Toreo Dr.
The trail is open to hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers, and winds along both single track and dirt roads through maritime chaparral, oak woodland, and open grassland habitats. The Toro Park residential neighborhood provides a pleasant buffer between the trail route from busy Highway 68.
Starting from the Creekside trailhead, the Anza Trail route follows Trail 1, Station One Road, Oil Well Road, and Toro Creek Road.
For more information about Fort Ord National Monument, visit www.blm.gov/ca/hollister.
Zoom to this segment of trail on the online Anza Trail map HERE.
The Anza Trail Crosses Fort Ord National Monument