A proposed new California State Parks cabin and campground project on the central coast is in the works. The site is located seven miles north of San Simeon, on an oceanside bluff west of Highway 1.

According to KCBX, state park officials want to develop the project to provide more low-cost options for visitors, but the plan isn’t unanimously embraced by locals.

Just north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is a shuttered 1950s-era roadside motel. It sits on 25 acres of coastal bluffs, with two beaches and a long stretch of shoreline. A land conservancy group bought the property in 2005 and gave it to the park system. While the motel remains closed, the rest of the property is open to the public for parking and beach access.

Meanwhile, after three decades of planning, the California legislature passed a law in 2001 calling for completion of the California Coastal Trail. The trail – the coastal equivalent to the Pacific Crest Trail – will someday stretch 1200 miles from Oregon to Mexico. Today, about half of the trail is completed.

State Parks envisions a portion of the coastal trail to traverse its property with the old motel and it plans to build a variety of accommodations there to host hikers.

“It is a great opportunity for them to experience beautiful northern San Luis Obispo County, in a multitude of different ways. From bike camping, to campgrounds, to cabins, all the way up to a motel,” said State Parks District Superintendent Dan Falat, who serves as the project manager for the Piedras Blancas Cabin and Camping Project.

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