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Trestles Special

Trestles Special

Alex Dick-Read

Trestles, the iconic Southern California break recently saved from an expanded highway, is tarting itself up.

Despite being one of the most popular breaks in Southern California, Trestles (actually 3 breaks – Uppers, Middles and Lowers) is a fair distance from the road and the car park. To get there you need to walk for 15 or so minutes through undeveloped, wild scrubland; you need to look both ways and cross the railway tracks, and keep your eyes wide for snakes in the grass. In other words, surfing this most Californian of breaks is still a ‘nature experience’.

But ordering nature is the American thing to do and Trestles will soon get its very own human fingerprint. These images are from one entry into a design competition for the access walkway. See more at:

  1. Rickoray

    SP… Thx for considering this news worthy… There are some good design solutions for what was presented to a global design competition. As seen above there were some over the top design submissions that will never make it to the final design review. Its worth a laugh to see what nearly 90% of the designers outside the region think the area needs. The final project, when completed, will be very subtle and eco-friendly.

  2. Tom Craig

    You have got to be kidding!
    Come on people, listen up.
    You destroy most of the coastline with power plants and Ritz Carltons and now you want this?
    Stick to a simple trail!

  3. Kelly S

    Leave it alone! It’s going to get polluted from everyone using it. You can’t say it won’t, we aren’t stupid. Someone came up with this because they needed work and can’t make the walk because they are lazy. It’s been such a magical place because you have to want it, to get there. Next Black’s beach will get a tram ride.

  4. Charly G

    Beautiful – lets just turn the whole darn world into a theme park. The Architecture and form may look cool – though what about the footings / foundations / concrete its all a waste of money and resources – which will probably lead to beachside development – all you locals at Trestles – BE AWARE of what may ensue at your classic and nature loving spot…..

  5. Chris W

    I saw this awhile back and could not believe Greg Long’s father was involved in this deal. If you want crowds and ways to make more money for the rich, this is just right for you. Look at Strands beach. What used to be one of the most beautiful spots in South Orange County, is now going to be home to rich unappreciative people that probably won’t even live there full time. Who the hell is really going to benefit from an outrageously designed walk way? If this gets done, they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Most people that surf this stretch come from all over. Most enjoy getting away from their concrete jungles to make the adventurous walk, to the tiny natural stretch of beach. If you were to look at what is publicly accessible from the air and what is built around Trestles, there isn’t much here. We don’t need more concrete and pollution down here. We won the last battle with the toll road and I don’t believe it will ever be over. Now we have these kooks wanting to build an access bridge and walkway? Instead of these money hungry out of work contractors looking to build on every piece of dirt around, why don’t you go rehab some existing buildings or something. Especially if you do surf and give a rats ass about our enviroment. Contractors can be so hypocritical, “save our oceans” while they are building up everywhere. Ya make it better by leaving it alone!

  6. Eva T

    I can only agree with Tom and Kelly. Why is this needed?

  7. glenn martin


  8. Brett Ettinger

    I have been surfing Trestles since 1973. Part of the magic is the anticipation of the walk and the simple, and virtually untouched natural experience along the way. The current paths work fine. Get off the freeway, park the car, walk, skate or bike the existing path, and it’s amazing how transformed and detoxed you feel when you get to the beach. We do not need to ‘doll up’ the path to the beach with overly stylized and completely unnecessary man-made elements. Better to spend money educating surfers and other beachgoers about cleaning up after themselves, cutting plastic water bottles out from their daily routine, etc. Trestles remains a truly unique place because it ‘is’ untouched and natural and offers a vital respite for those willing to take a 15 minute walk. I agree with Kelly – “Leave it alone”

  9. Phil Roberts

    Really!! Yes this is a trumped up scam to overpay a developer from a Cal State Bank that has no money. Really! would they allow this to happen in Yosemite National Park trails to HalfDome? Would they allow this to happen on trails down the Grand Canyon? These kind of structures are just begging to be “tagged” by inner city visitors, who foots the bill to clean that up? I say leave Trestles alone! Preserve the natural beauty of one of our last remaining undeveloped natural resources, put any money into maintaining it’s natural beauty. These designs belong in a theme park not in nature. You design nature inspired structures to recreate an oasis in what was a baron location, not to destroy what’s already beautiful. The walk through the bush to Trestles is park of the journey of decompressing and getting in touch Mother Nature and Mother Ocean. Save it and leave no foot prints.

  10. Gary Lynch

    There is very little left of what I knew as ‘Trestles’ in the early 1960’s. Any further development will take what is left away forever. The freeway noise, trails, pollution, endless contests, explosion of the number of surfers, and now this idea? It will be the final death nail in Trestles coffin.

    Nature = God, Tom Blake

  11. Jim Ettinger

    No waves today but I did have time for a walk with my dog from the parking lot, down the old coast highway to the Lowers trail, down the beach to Church, then up the bluff trail to the lifeguard tower overlooking the whole pristine (almost) area, and back up the back way. Please, it’s not broke, it doesn’t need fixing. I also agree with Kelly and that Brett guy, “Leave it alone”

  12. kevin short

    Can we pave that nasty ol’ creek too? Algae scares me!! And is icky.
    We can make an ECO FRIENDLY giant cement river like LA has. And hire artists to paint images of wetlands and unicorns!!
    I love unicorns!!.
    And an eco friendly cement wading pool to replace that ugly lagoon.
    And put in swim toys!
    And once a Dolphin popped up next to me in the line up, it made me make potty in my wetsuit.
    Can we have a design competition to have an Eco Friendly steel net around the surf ? Cause I was scared.
    Will there be plenty of room for us to slap Eco Friendly surf stickers all over this walkway?
    Can we have a little encounter center to educate people on what the area would look like without a path?
    Can we have a snack bar that sells unicorn t-shirts?
    I love this idea!

  13. Robo

    I only have two words: BULL SHIT

  14. Ciaran S

    Here’s an idea it’ll cost nothing and is eco sound – leave it alone so people who make the effort can enjoy it as it is.

  15. Steph

    Just say no. How much will it cost taxpayers to put this in? It is not needed, especially in a state, and a country that has incredible deficits in spending already, it is irresponsible to be spending any funds on a project like this, and then turn around and underfund education. I am suspicious of what the big motive is here. Even if there were no deficits there are better ways to spend our money, like restoring native plants along the natural path, and protecting the native species that live in the area. Leave it Alone. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  16. Dan Close

    Since 1953, my family has been passing by this landmark between San Diego and my grandparents house in South Laguna. I want my great grandchildren to see Trestles just like it is. Please let it be!

  17. Ripple Rider

    Will the McDonalds be overlooking the beach or integrated into the parking lot?

    “Designed to make access to the beach a more enjoyable experience…” For who?

  18. Rob Brown

    Leave it alone.. Don’t tread on Trestles!!!! Just keep it as is..


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