New Multi-Use Trail Connects Community

The highly anticipated grand opening of the Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip City Park on Saturday June 1 boasted an impressive turnout (300+!) of mountain bikers, hikers, runners, dog walkers and equestrians on perfect Santa Cruz morning. This fun and beautiful trail was named after the late Emma McCrary—an avid equestrian—who advocated for and built trails throughout the Santa Cruz area, believing the more accessible the wilderness was to people, the more protection it would have.


Santa Cruz city leaders Mayor Hilary Bryant and Parks Superintendent Mauro Garcia, along with notable guest Bud McCrary—trail advocate and husband of the trail’s namesake—praised the community effort to create this trail. The 1.5 mile trail, which begins at the Golf Club Drive trail head and links to the Rincon Trail leading to UCSC, is an incredible accomplishment and testament to the spirit of community cooperation in Santa Cruz County. Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) is proud to have played a key role in the development of this scenic multi-use trail conceived by the Santa Cruz Parks Department and designed by MBoSC Trail Work Officer Drew Perkins.


302 volunteers put in 3,582 hours to build this trail. MBoSC raised $32,000 for bridges, equipment, supplies and other expenses. Six aesthetically pleasing and well constructed bridges—in lengths varying from 8′ to 35’—were put in to span creek crossings and small drainages, and 11 rock retaining walls were painstakingly built with rock reclaimed from the park.


Drew designed the Emma McCrary trail to sustain winter rains and heavy traffic by various users. Meandering through some of the prettiest parts of the park, the trail design employs frequent grade reversals, a low average grade, numerous rollers and cambered turns to control speed and maximize sight distances while making the trail enjoyable for all levels of users.

trail_blogGet out there and enjoy this new legal singletrack, but keep in mind that although the trail leads to a vast network of riding once it connects with the Rincon Trail, all other trails in the Pogonip are off-limits to bikes. Also, PLEASE be considerate of other users. The Emma trail will experience heavy traffic in both directions by not only mountain bikers, but hikers and runners with or without their canine friends, and equestrians. MBoSC advocates respect and cooperation with all other trail users and believes that this community connection is key to realizing our vision of Santa Cruz as a destination for mountain biking. So, be aware and mindful, polite and respectful… remembering that we are all in this together to enjoy the gorgeous area we are lucky enough to call our home turf.

Please park below the trestle on Golf Club Drive so the parking spaces near the entrance can be used by hikers. Best place to park on the weekends is the City Lot at the corner of Golf Club Drive and Highway 9 (pictured).

For further information on the Emma McCrary trail and its namesake:

More photos of trail construction and its Grand Opening celebration: 

Check out details about our next trail building endeavor: a four mile flow trail in Soquel Demonstration State Forest!

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