A guerilla entrance to the Hammond trail becomes official


EUREKA, Calif. - The Vista Point in McKinleyville is one of the best places to catch picture-perfect oceans views and enjoy the coastal breeze.

The Hammond Trail, also in McKinleyville, crosses right in front of the Vista Point, off of Highway 101 South. But even with the trail and the scenic views right next to each other, for years, people visiting the trail could not access the Vista Point and vice-versa.

There was no official entrance from the Vista Point onto the Hammond Trail, but that was not going to stop trail enthusiasts from gaining entrance. Locals stomped or cut holes through the barbed-wired fence separating the trail and the parking lot.

This went on for years, according to Caltrans. David Morgan is a maintenance engineer with the state agency. He said breaking down a fence to gain entrance to the trail will no longer be an issue.

"We were contacted by a disabled person that could could not get onto the Hammond Trail like others. Historically, the good-old wired fence would routinely get torn down."

He said they got the complaint late last year, and responded by creating a wide opening and adding gravel to the path, making it an official, legal entrance from the Vista Point to the Hammond Trail.

Morgan said some of the hesitation behind creating an entrance was from horses becoming loose by accident and running from the trail onto the highway. But he said that's a minor concern, especially with the on-ramps onto the 101.

Morgan said he did not announce the minor project, but he's happy to report the change through this story. Morgan said, "It's a positive thing for the community and everyone to have access from the vista point to the trail, even if it's stopping for a moment for the view."