Smoothing out Point Reyes’ winding roads


Even though West Marin is just a few dozen miles from San Francisco, it can feel like another world altogether.

Epic views, wildlife, expansive beaches and history are all offered up within the Point Reyes National Seashore, luring more than 2 million visitors every year.

Our friends at the National Park Service think it’s high time the roads that lead us to this gem are up to par.

The long, hilly country roads at the seashore are a little rough, so the NPS and the Federal Highway administration are proposing to rehabilitate 22 miles of roads and parking areas in the area as soon as next summer.

Among those slated for improvement are the notoriously steep Limantour Road that rises high above Tomales Bay, leading to the hostel, and the roads to the often fog-enshrouded lighthouse and Chimney Rock.

Over the years, sections of the road have experienced slide damage, and several parts have drainage problems.

Pullout spots along the roads are also in states and need some help, which can be critical to anyone who has braved the deep crevasses and potholes whilst simultaneously watching for deer or wandering cattle from the numerous historic ranches.

Overall, nearly 12 miles of road and 9.4 acres of parking area will be worked on, restoring the road surface to near original conditions.

Of course, we can’t have smoother streets and an enhanced experience without a few bumps in the road — so to speak. One problem with work like this is the undeniable affect it will have on day trip or weekending plans for visitors.

Full details as to how roads will be closed or detoured are available on www.parkplanning.nps.gov, where the public can also submit comments until August 30.

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