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The Watsonville Rail Trail is Segment 18 of the Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail, a planned 32-mile rail-trail network that parallels the entire coastline of the Santa Cruz County.
Running along a former railroad right-of-way in the City of Watsonville, the Watsonville Rail Trail is a multi-use path that has the potential to connect with a number of existing trail networks and significantly increase the community's access to safe and pleasant alternative modes of transportation and opportunities for outside recreation. Whether biking, walking, jogging, using a mobility aid or pushing a little one in a stroller, this trail is for you.
The 1.2-mile rail-trail will provide connections to schools, parks, and community facilities. As of 2022, this paved pathway runs between Walker Street in the city's downtown and 800 Ohlone Parkway, with plans to extend it to Lee Street. Fencing lines the route on the side adjacent to Watsonville’s active freight line.
The goal is to connect the Watsonville Rail Trail with the existing trail network in the Watsonville Slough Wetlands, as well as with a future trail to Pajaro Valley High School. There is even the potential to link the rail-trail with the 50-mile Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network, which will span the entire Santa Cruz County.
Parking is available in a paved lot at the eastern end of the trail on Walker St. It does not appear to have designated accessible spaces.
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