Story: Take a Journey Through San Mateo County History

Learn how a Spanish explorer, through the graciousness and knowledge of the Ohlone people, shaped the course of San Mateo County History in 1769. 

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This project is guided by a committee of county, state, federal and tribal representatives which will explore the best ways to design and interpret the path that Gaspar de Portolà took during his expedition of the San Mateo County coast and the San Francisco Bay. This work will include telling the history of the Ohlone people who lived in the area and who were instrumental in supporting the Portolá Expedition in 1769.

The Committee includes representatives from San Mateo County Parks, the National Park Service, California State Parks, San Mateo County Historical Association, tribal representatives, Caltrans and San Mateo County’s Department of Public Works who are working to commission a Feasibility Study that will assess the opportunities and constraints related to developing the historical and recreational route as well as interpretive opportunities. The anticipated 90-mile Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail alignment through San Mateo County will be designated using segments of the California Coastal Trail, existing sidewalks and/or trails through lands of Peninsula Open Space Trust and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, State Parks and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and County Parks. Some route segments will be identified through working with willing private property owners and Caltrans.

The overview map of the Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail identifies the route between Ohlone villages that the Gaspar de Portola’ expedition took through San Mateo County. It is being further refined as part of the development of Feasibility Study.

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The view from the Portolá discovery site on Sweeney Ridge. (Photo by Douglas Atmore.)

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Historic marker on Sweeney Ridge. (Photo by Douglas Atmore.)


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Merit Award for Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail Study
San Mateo County Parks has received a Merit Award for Planning for the Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail Study as part of the California State Parks 2020 Trail & Greenway Awards.

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