Decades in the Making, 67-Mile Backbone Trail to Be Completed in Santa Monica Mountains

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The Saddle Peak Trail, part of the Backbone Trail system, is shown. (Credit: National Park Service)

For more than 50 years, Southern Californians have dreamed of following an uninterrupted trail among the sycamore canyons and sandstone peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Over the decades, the Backbone Trail, stretching 67 miles between Point Mugu State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park, has slowly taken shape, stitched together by public funding and private donations that have led to acquisitions of land.

Finally, the hard work and altruism will culminate with completion of the trail. The National Park Service recently closed escrow on a 40-acre donation by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and fitness pioneer Betty Weider, and within 10 days the agency expects escrow to close on two remaining parcels along a fire road known as the Etz Meloy Motorway.

“The Backbone Trail offers the primo, sustained outdoor experience in Southern California,” said Joe Edmiston, who has been looking forward to this day since he started hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains in the 1970s.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

The Backbone Trail stretches from Will Rogers State Historic Park to Point Mugu State Park. (Credit: National Park Service)

The Backbone Trail stretches from Will Rogers State Historic Park to Point Mugu State Park. (Credit: National Park Service)

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