New Bike Infrastructure Comes to Watsonville

New bike infrastructure is being added across Santa Cruz County every year, and some of the latest developments have recently opened in Watsonville. Here’s an update on the fresh new routes in Watsonville to add to your summer riding list.

Watsonville is not only surrounded by some of the most fertile farmland in the country, it also has some of the best cycling backroads, winding through apple orchards, redwood forests, and steep ravines with mountain streams. The City of Watsonville is cultivating a diverse bike community fostered by an extensive slough trail network connecting the core of the city, a new section of Rail Trail, and pump track at Ramsay Park.

Watsonville Rail Trail

The Santa Cruz County Coastal Rail Trail is slowly being constructed section by section to provide neighborhoods from Davenport to Watsonville with a safe, car-free, and convenient public space to bike and walk. One of the first sections of the entire countywide Rail Trail project is located in Watsonville. This section is almost one-third mile in length and connects with Watsonville Slough and the City of Watsonville’s Slough Trail network. This Rail Trail section extends from Ohlone Parkway to a new Watsonville Slough Trail connection and runs parallel to West Beach Street in an industrial part of town.

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission owns the entire rail corridor and is working with the City of Watsonville to oversee the construction of this section of Rail Trail. Most of the funding is provided by local Measure D sales tax revenue and by donations from individuals and local businesses raised by Ecology Action and Friends of the Rail & Trail. This segment has received support from California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville Coast Produce, Nordic Naturals, and Fox Racing. Local contractor Graniterock Company built the trail. This segment came to life through strong partnership and collaboration between local government, private business, and community-based organizations.

The next phase of construction will extend west to Lee Road from Ohlone Parkway and east from the Watsonville Slough Trail to downtown, ending at Walker Street. The exact dates that construction for these next phases will start are yet to be determined.

For updates and more information on the Rail Trail, visit the RTC Rail Trail pages.

Watsonville Pump Track

Thanks to the bike facility-building capacity (mostly dirt trails) of the newly named Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Stewardship (SCMTS, formerly known as Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz) in coordination with Watsonville Public Works and Recreational Departments, there is a new asphalt pump track at Ramsay Park in Watsonville. It is the largest pump track in Santa Cruz County. The track has been an immediate hit with folks of all ages on bikes, scooters, skateboards, and roller blades. “Fun times” is likely an understatement. SCMTS not only headed the construction, but also raised funds from private donors to cover the entire cost.

The rolling park of berms, jumps, and bowls is set up for a variety of skill levels to work out their legs, lungs, and skills in a community space. The pump track’s sponsors include Bell Helmets, Shelton, Inc., Sierra Azul Nursery, and Delta Bluegrass Co. Check out this Pump Track video to learn a little more about this new addition to our local bike parks. Our (hard) hats are off to that whole crew for a well-executed project that will bring joy, fun, and community connection for years to come.

And imagine a car-free Rail Trail through town, making this pump track even easier for the entire community to access.