program-logo_transitTransportation Programs

Friends of the Rail & Trail

The Santa Cruz County Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT) is a community-based organization that has been working for over 10 years to support the construction of the 32-mile rail trail from Watsonville to Davenport. FORT has raised private money that will help build the westside of Santa Cruz and Watsonville Walker Street sections of trail. The rail trail supports the efforts of, and complements, Ecology Action’s bike and walk programs by giving Santa Cruz County kids, commuters, families, seniors and visitors a safe, car-free, and scenic paved path along the Santa Cruz County coast.


The coastal rail trail will be a car-free, scenic and flat paved path connecting our coastal communities. The trail will be alongside active freight and passenger train services. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) owns the rail corridor and is the lead public agency for the rail trail. Currently, 25% of the rail trail is funded and will be built by 2017.

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Santa Cruz County Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT) educates the public about the benefits and need of the rail trail and partners with the RTC and local governments to raise funds to construct the rail trail.


Without a doubt, for the majority of us, the number one way we can reduce our carbon footprint and help contribute to a healthier environment is to drive less. The rail trail will allow residents and visitors to travel car-free and pollution-free for a variety of short trips. The trail will provide 32-miles of a pure active transportation oasis that travels within one mile of half the county population, 44 schools and 92 parks and beaches.

Fewer Carbon Emissions
  • Some 50% of greenhouse gas emissions are generated from transportation within Santa Cruz County.
  • The Rail Trail would allow residents and visitors to travel car-free and pollution-free for a variety of short trips.
  • Children biking and walking to school more often and more safely as some 44 schools are within 1-mile of the Rail Trail.
Healthier Communities
  • Providing a safe, accessible and flat biking and walking path will increase physical activity for a variety of age groups. Most significantly, the Rail Trail would provide a safe route for children to get to and from school.
Stronger Businesses
  • The Rail Trail will provide a new tourist attraction thereby increasing business for local lodgings, restaurants, bike shops, and other vendors.
  • The economic benefits of such a trail is evident from the numerous businesses along the Monterey trail and its contribution to a strong tourist economy in the city.

Some Beautiful Shots of the Trail Location