Acquisition of 5 acres is moving the National Park Service closer to completion of the 65-mile-long Backbone Trail through Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California.
The trail stretches from Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles all the way to Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County.
The recently acquired the 5 acres is along the Etz Meloy Motorway, and is close to a popular lookout that offers a 360-degree view of the ocean, mountains, and inland valleys accessible from the Encinal Canyon Trailhead, according to a Park Service release.
The creation of the Backbone Trail has been a 25-year endeavor, involving the tireless work of citizen trail building groups like the Sierra Club, Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, elected officials, and the National Park Service, California State Parks, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. When completed, hikers will be able to walk the entire length without encountering private property gaps. Many sections of the trail are also open to mountain bikers and equestrians.
"We are so close to completion," said Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Superintendent Woody Smeck. "Through the relentless efforts of the Los Angeles community and the tireless support of our elected officials, we have slowly but surely pieced together one of the most significant and treasured trails in Southern California."