Civic Group
Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

Creating and maintaining world-class trails responsibly, sustainably, and collectively since 1997.

Founded: 1997

Leadership: Matt De Young, Executive Director

Their story: Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship works to expand trail access and responsible mountain biking across Santa Cruz County. It’s team behind popular trails like the Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip and the Flow Trail in Soquel Demonstration State Forest. First formed as an advocacy group, the nonprofit has since taken the lesson to heart that advocacy works better when matched with a commitment to responsible trail stewardship. “The shift, really focusing more from advocacy to stewardship, is when we really started to see success,” says De Young. SCMTS is now the county’s premier trail stewardship organization, coordinating funding and volunteers and specializing in trail and bike park design, construction and maintenance. Mountain biking advocacy remains at its core, but SCMTS takes a big picture look at responsible trail use — whether on foot, hoof or wheel. “We’re building trails for all trail users at this point,” says De Young.

It’s about the trails as a medium to go out there and interact with nature and have those positive experiences which are so important to our public health — and to our affinity for those natural spaces, so that we can protect and preserve them for posterity.

Projects and events: Range of ongoing advocacy, maintenance and construction at Hosts regular dig days and annual events like the Old Cabin Classic race and new Trail Vision Awards.