Hike Along the Salinas River in El Paso de Los Robles
by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner
El Paso de los Robles translates as “Pass of the Oaks.” This central coast community, known simply as “Paso” by locals, is situated midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Anza Expedition passed by on March 6, 1776, on their way to Mission San Antonio de Padua, and the abundance of oaks is referenced in Father Font’s diary.
TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE:
The Anza Trail follows the Salinas River Trail in Paso Robles (see on map). The southern end of the trail is at Lawrence Moore Park, where Riverbank Lane connects with the new Charolais Trail. The park includes a small developed area with restrooms, playground and tables, as well as more natural landscaping. The 1.6 mile dirt trail meanders adjacent to the Salinas River, under the Niblick Road bridge, and currently ends at Navajo Avenue. A new half-mile extension of the trail is currently under construction from Navajo Avenue to 13th Street (below S. River Road), and will be completed in the spring of 2013.
A stroll along the trail offers an opportunity to connect with the natural habitat and wildlife of the Salinas River, and environmental interpretive signs provide lessons for curious visitors. The new trail segment will also feature Anza Trail interpretive signs funded by a National Park Service grant.
This segment of trail is fully developed and accessible to pedestrians, but the trail is not open to equestrians. The new trail segment along South River Road will be designed with bicyclists in mind. It will offer a safe and scenic alternative route for cyclists and pedestrians parallel to the busy and narrow road.
EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS:
The City hosts its annual Festival of the Arts in its beautiful central park on Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds from the festival support conservation, recreation and other enhancements along the Salinas River, including construction of the Anza Trail. A major planning effort is currently underway for the Salinas River through northern San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go to www.salinasrivertrail.com.