Trail to Spiral Lake, Manzanita Fire Road, part of public trust
Marin County Open Space District has now completed the purchase of the property with the help of over $100,000 in donations to MOST. Manzanita Fire Road and the Trail to Spiral Lake, a beloved Marin trail is available to the public forever. The public can now hike on the Manzanita fire road into the Gary Giaccomini open space and a vast network of trails.
For as long as anyone can remember, the fire road to the Sipral Circle has been one of the most beloved “byways” of the people of the San Geronimo Valley. The fire road traverses land which is home to unique and diverse natural resources including two endangered Manzanita species and is a nesting site of Northern Spotted Owls. As one of the key access points to the Gary Giacomini Preserve, it has been used by hikers, bikers and equestrians alike. However, the trail crossed into private property and had no guaranteed access.
In the early 1980s, as part of the termination of the Skye Ranch subdivision and creation of the Giacomini Preserve, a remainder parcel was set aside for development of up to three homes. No dedication of a trail was included in the remainder parcel. The parcel, which encompasses the Manzanita Fire Road, was then bought and sold by several people who wanted to develop it, most recently by a property owner who caused great community concern by proposing to relocate the beloved trail to a less desirable location.
Marin County Parks negotiated and received an option to purchase the 21.14 acre parcel for $650,000 to add to the Gary Giacomini Preserve. The department contributed $100,000 and $450,000 was committed by the California Coastal Conservancy to fund the acquisition.
The campaign committee included Marin County Parks, the Marin Open Space Trust, the San Geronimo Valley Planning Group, and the San Geronimo Valley Land Trust. The committee had decades of experience in successful campaigns to preserve open space received donations and pledges totaling more than $100,000! Donations that exceeded the purchase price will be used for cleanup and restoration of the property.