Distance: 2.5 miles one way (from the Ontario Road trailhead to Avila Beach)
Directions: From the north, take Highway 101 south to Avila Beach Drive. Exit and turn right towards Avila Beach. Turn right onto Ontario Road cross the bridge and park at the staging area parking lot. From the south, take Highway 101 north to Avila Beach Drive exit, keep left at the fork to merge with Avila Beach Drive, turn right onto Ontario Road past the KOA Campground until you see trail signage and the parking lot on the right.
Description: Ride, jog, or walk this popular paved pathway to Avila Beach. There are many stops along the way to enjoy a snack, view wildlife and just enjoy being with friends or solitude. This trail will eventually reach the City of San Luis Obispo with a formal trailhead at the Octagon Barn Center.
Bob Jones was an environmental pioneer. He had a lifelong interest in protecting natural habitat and the environment. He worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly known as the California Department of Fish and Game) for 23 years. Bob co-founded an environmental firm in 1970. In 1983, he retired to Avila Valley. He served as president of The Land Conservancy from 1988-1991 after his long and distinguished career in environmental protection.
Bob focused his efforts during those years to protect and preserve San Luis Obispo Creek. It is fitting; therefore, that the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail bears his name. The Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail (the Trail and also referred as the Bob Jones Pathway) was initially a visionary concept to join the communities of San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach via a trail along San Luis Obispo Creek. The Trail honors a man with a vision who listened, encouraged, and inspired others.
The Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail project began over two decades ago in environmental protection. The Land Conservancy’s goals for this project aim to:
- Support conservation of San Luis Obispo Creek, its floodplain, and agricultural land
- Provide safe access to the Trail for public enjoyment
- Protect the scenic views along Highway 101
Our role in creating the Trail is to work with interested landowners in securing trail access. Additionally, the Trail will expand the City of San Luis Obispo’s greenbelt.
The Land Conservancy has purchased properties along the Trail route that will provide over a mile of trail access. Trail creation is a long-term process and many of the landowners along the route are supportive of the concept. The Land Conservancy respects the views of the adjacent landowners and will work to make the Trail a world-class public amenity with minimal impacts for landowners.
The proposed eight mile Trail will join the communities of San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach. We envision the Trail as much more than a simple transportation route, however. It will be an opportunity for local residents and visitors to experience the essence of the San Luis Obispo area and its greenbelt; a place to take a leisurely stroll or bike ride and enjoy the views of the Avila Valley and experience the wonders of San Luis Obispo Creek. In addition, the pathway will showcase some of our county’s agricultural heritage including the Octagon Barn, where plans for the formal trailhead are currently underway.
One section of the trail, starting from the Ontario Road staging area to Avila Beach has been completed by the County. The remaining sections are in the planning stages. Ultimately, the Trail will be managed by the San Luis Obispo County Parks department.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail extension, from the Octagon Barn along South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo to the existing Bob Jones staging area on Ontario Road, is complete and available for public review and comment. The DEIR is available here.
For questions regarding the planning and status of the Trail or Trail maintenance, please inquire at the County of San Luis Obispo at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (805) 781-4388.
Funding and Partnerships
The project is a cooperative effort among, Caltrans, City of San Luis Obispo, County of San Luis Obispo, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, and San Luis Obispo Council of Governments.