Stevens Creek Trail List of Categories
How did the trail first get started?
The short answer is that at least as far back as 1961, the Stevens Creek Trail has been envisioned, as seen in
this county brochure from 1961
this accompanying map.
The long answer involves a spare load of asphalt out at Shoreline Park one day in 1991 (we aim to have this on the website in full soon)
Are there any programs or activities along the trail?
Yes, from time to time. Organizers of events which have more than 40 participants are required to register them with the City of Mountain View, so that is who it is best to check with about what might be going on. Mountain View has an educational program available from the Mountain View Parks and Recreation department. It is called "Stevens Creek - Connections for Kids" and includes a teachers' guide and children's workbooks.
Where are the mile markers - can you show them on a map? In particular, I haven't found the marker for mile 2.75.
Mileage markers are located on the side of the trail at 0.25 mile increments on 4x4 posts about 1 foot high. The 0.0 mile point is located out where the trail turns left to Shoreline Park.
We are looking into a good way to present the milemarker information on a map - and maps in general are a special ongoing project.
As for that elusive 2.75 mile marker, it has been located. It is about midway through the tunnel under Hwy 85 that is between Creekside Park and Central Avenue. More specifically, it is just below and to the right of the light that is 3rd from the south (Central Ave) end or 4th from the north (Creekside Park) end.
What additions are in construction or planned?
Details can be found in Trail Updates.
Why does the trail get closed sometimes?
Generally the trail is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Occasionally there are reasons to close the trail for public safety or other reasons.
One reason the trail sometimes closes during the winter months is for potential or actual flooding at places where the trail passes through a tunnel next to the creek, like at Highway 101.
When the weather is questionable, check the Mountain View
Trail Closure Hotline at
What is the status of Reach 4 Segment 2?
The first section, from Yuba Drive to El Camino Real opened in April 2008.
The second section, from El Camino Real to Sleeper Ave opened in June 2009.
The third section, from Sleeper Ave., over Hwy 85 to the corner of Dale Ave and Heatherstone Way was fully funded for construction planned to take place in 2010 with opening in 2011.
What are the plans for extending the trail past Dale/Heatherstone?
Reach 4 Segment 2 is the name for the stretch of trail in Mountain View that connects from Yuba Drive, near El Camino Real, to Mountain View High School. This is being built in phases as funding becomes available. Although that is still the plan, no funding has yet been allocated for the design or construction of the trail past Dale/Heatherstone.
The cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Cupertino have had meetings to look at how the trail might continue and connect in its entirety. This started in December 2008.
What can I do to help the trail?
You have come to the right place. There are several ways to help the trail, depending upon what "Help the Trail" means to you.
One way to help the trail is by participating in trail projects. Friends of Stevens Creek Trail hosts an annual Trail Work Day each year, usually in April.
- Another way to help the trail is to help it get built. Right now, many of the hurdles have been crossed in Mountain View, but that isn't the case in other cities along the creek. Citizens in Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Los Altos can all help the trail get built through their towns by voicing their support to their governing officials. Contact us for more information.
Where can I download trail maps for the existing and proposed sections?
Check our Use Trail menu for some maps. We are working to bring you more.
How safe is the trail?
The trail is generally considered to be as safe as the neighborhoods through which it passes. Sometimes better, since it is well patrolled and often has a lot of people on it.
What is happening in Sunnyvale (Los Altos, Cupertino)?
See the Trail Update page (and while there, sign up for notifications about the city in which you are interested).
Who builds the trail?
The trail is built by the cities through which it passes (or county). To date, the City of Mountain View has built the only urban portion of trail. Santa Clara County has built a portion of trail in Ranch San Antonio. And the Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District is responsible for all the Upper Stevens Creek trails above Stevens Creek Reservoir.
How much does the trail cost per mile?
There isn't a simple answer to this as the cost varies greatly depending upon the nature of the trail. Here are some historical figures for the cost of building the trail in Mountain View:
- Reach 1, a flat and straight trail, away from any houses, with no bridges and opened in 1992, cost around $10,000 (from memory).
- Reach 2, which tunnels under Hwy 101, crosses Moffett Blvd, has a bridge to Whisman Park and opened in 1995, cost around $235,000 (from memory).
- Reach 3, which takes the trail through a more urban area and includes a large bridge over Central Expressway, tunnel under Hwy 85, underpass of Middlefield Rd, and bridge over the creek, opened in 1999 and cost around $2,500,000.
- Reach 4 Segment 1, involving difficult cantilevered construction close to the creek with a large bridge over Hwy 237, was opened in 2004 and was built at a cost of just under $4,000,000, with $1,810,750 coming from various county, state and federal grants.
- Reach 4 Segment 2 is being done in sections, partially due to its high cost
- The first phase of Reach 4, Segment 2, brought the trail from the end of Yuba Drive south under El Camino Real. The total cost for this was $6,805,000 but that included the purchase of the property at the end of Yuba Drive for about $2,500,000 so construction is only a portion of that total.
- The second phase of Reach 4, Segment 2 will run from El Camino Real to the end of Sleeper Avenue and include one bridge over the creek. It is budgeted at $2,074,000 with expected completion in late Spring 2009.
- Design of the section from Sleeper Ave. to Dale/Heatherstone is expected to cost $1,900,000. Then, construction cost is expected to be $7,200,000 but since that won't start until 2010 or so, the cost could change.
- The final section of Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View will be from Dale/Heatherstone along and eventually back across Hwy85 to Mountain View High School. This section is currently estimated to cost as much as $20,000,000.
- The Moffett Blvd. overcrossing is budgeted for $4,900,000.
Who pays to build the trail?
In general, the city through which the trail runs is who pays to build it. But (and this is a big BUT), there are a great many sources of grant funding available to help with the cost. As much as 50% of many sections have been paid for with grant funds. Here are the numbers I have found so far to record for you:
MV R4-S2.1: $264,000 from the Santa Clara Valley Water District as part of their Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Program in Fall 2005.
MV R4-S2.1: $700,000 State Transportation Fund for Clean Air Grant in 2005.
MV R4-S2.2: $874,000 California Rivers Parkway Grant by the State Resources Agency in summer 2006..
MV R4-S2.2: $275,000 Transportation Fund for Clean Air Program Grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in summer 2006. (not sure if this was reassigned or what, but it isn't in the final funding list).
MV R4-S2.2: $825,000 Construction Tax Conveyance Fund
MV R4-S2.2: $375 000 Shoreline Regional Park Community Fund
MV R4-S2.3: $400,000 n TFCA grant funds to Project 10-42, Dale/Heatherstone.
MV R4-2.3: $418,144 in 2009-10 Transportation Development Act (IDA),
Article 3, funds to Project 10-42, Stevens Creek Trail, Sleeper to Dale/Heatherstone Construction
MV R4-2.4: $483,060 in 2011-12 CIP budget for design of the Stevens Creek Trail from Dale/Heatherstone to Mountain View High School.
Cupertino Phase I: (tbd)
Cupertino Scenic Circle access (2011): Total cost of (tbd)
Cupertino Phase II (2011-2013):
Total cost of $3,500,000 for combined trail extension and creek restoration.
$200,000 from "Park Dedication fees".
$1,215,000 of funding tied to doing the creek restoration came from the California River Parkways grant.
State EEMP grant of $245,000.
VTA Project Readiness agreement $25,000.
TDA grant for $103,000.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District may grant $285K for "Trails and Open Space"
The Santa Clara Valley Water District may grant $565K for "Environmental Enhancements".
Upon completion, the total construction contract cost of phase two was $3.281 million, with $2.831 million in project funding coming from grants and other outside funds and contributions
What sections does that still leave?
Cupertino has broken their undertaking of the Stevens Creek Trail into 4 study areas.
Here is the feasibility study overview map
- Study Area A covers Stevens Creek Trail through Rancho San Antonio. Much of this trail has already opened, although not currently identified as Stevens Creek Trail. The most recent addition is the Hammond Snyder Trail that gets quite close to Stevens Creek Blvd. The remaining work is to provide access across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks that block the park from the road.
Here is the feasibility study map
- Study Area D covers the trail between Stevens Creek Blvd and Blackberry Farm. This has construction planned for 2007 - 2009 with opening in 2010 and includes part of Study Area C as well, McClellan Ranch.
Here is the feasibility study map
- Study Area C covers a section of trail that is now planned in McClellan Ranch and then a trail that might run south of McClellan Road along the edge of the Linda Vista neighborhood and Deep Cliff Golf Course. There is no active planning work in this area at this time (2007).
There are 3 maps covering this area:
Map 2, &
- Study Area B covers the steep terrain below Stevens Creek Reservoir past the old quarry. There is no active planning work in this area at this time (2007). Much of the land is privately owned with the hope that easements would be granted should the owner wish to develop the property.
Here is the feasibility study map for Study Area B.
That leaves a missing piece between Mountain View and Cupertino. Los Altos has completed a feasibility study in 2008 to see how they might connect the trail through their city and provide access for their residents. Sunnyvale would not benefit from this, though, so they will need to determine their own solution. Both these cities decided in the early 1990s that they would pursue only a street-based trail.
Why is it paved?
To allow use by the widest range of activities and to stand up to the large number of users. Paving allows for use by bicyclists, rollerblades and stollers that might have trouble with a gravel or dirt trail.
How is the existing trail maintained?
Maintenence is primarily by the city through which the trail runs, but through trail work days and other special events, the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail and its volunteers have made many improvements and enhancements.
How can I participate in trail work days?
Just send us an email or letter and ask to be put on our volunteer mailing list. We usually hold a trail work day in the spring. And, of course, check the website.
What about other Trails: Bay, Hetch-Hetchy, Ridge, the trail off Hwy 17?
Check our "Links" page to learn about other trails and resources nearby.
Where are the locations of:
- Drinking fountains
- access points
- Mile Markers
Under investigation how to best present this information. Some of it is on Mountain View's trail map.
How many people use the trail on a typical weekend? Weekdays?
Can I build a memorial to someone on the trail?
Probably not, but you could ask the city in which you wish to do something like this.
What would be the total length from the Bay to the hills? To the Pacific?