The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are encouraging the public to get involved with the newly opened Fifield-Cahill Trail in San Mateo County. After more than 30 years of community pressure to allow public access to the open space above the Crystal Springs reservoir, the SFPUC has opened the 10-mile trail to hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers who make reservations for docent-led tours. The SFPUC had kept the area closed due to concerns that recreational users would impact sensitive habitat and cause erosion around the reservoir, which supplies water to parts of San Francisco. However, environmental reviews and a special task force organized by S.F. Supervisor Tom Ammiano convinced SFPUC to open the trail to guided tours. Now visitors will have access to habitat that contains the largest concentration of endangered species in the Bay Area, as well as spectacular Bay views and old-growth Douglas-fir forests. To ensure the trail remains open three days a week—as currently scheduled—more volunteer guides are needed. If you’re interested in becoming a docent, visit volunteer.sfwater.org.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ October-December 2003