The Marin County Parks Spring Newsletter is out and it has some very encouraging news:
“Coming soon: Improved roads and trails!
Implementation of the Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) is underway for both Region 1 in the southeast and Region 2 in the west. The next step is to begin improving a few of the trails before they can become “official.” Staff is hard at work on the necessary California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) work for two trails in Camino Alto Preserve and one trail in Gary Giacomini Preserve with an eye towards on-the-ground improvement work slated for fall/winter 2016.”
In preparation for these and other trails coming online in 2016 and 2017, MCBC is proactively educating all trail users about basic responsibilities and expectations that go hand in hand with new trail opportunities. Here are three things you and the people you ride with can do to help move this progress forward.
1 – Always Slow Down When Passing Other Trail Users!
It’s amazing how many people riding bikes still blow past hikers, equestrians, other cyclists and even rangers on trails and fire roads. There’s just no excuse for not slowing down to 5 MPH or even stopping where the trail is narrow. This single action will have virtually no effect on your ride, but will significantly reduce countless stories of “near misses” and comments like “I could have been killed!”
2 – Don’t Build Illegal Trails!
It’s just not worth it to build unauthorized trails on public lands. Illegal trail building is destructive to the environment, but it’s equally destructive to our efforts to expand bike legal trail access in Marin. We know it can seem to be a slow process working with land managers. But, every non-sanctioned trail undercuts our credibility with these key agencies. Also, if caught, you will face large fines and fees to restore damage. Permitted trails need stewardship, so showing up for Trail Work Days is a better way to show your skills with a shovel.
3 – Ride Open Trails Only!
Though it’s easy to say mountain bikers have no trail access in Marin, we have a bike legal trail loop at China Camp State Park, and there are a growing number of multi-use trails across Marin, including Big Rock Trail, 680 Trail, White Hill Trail, Porcupine Trail, Topflite Trail, Coast View Trail, Tenderfoot Trail, Dias Ridge Trail, Old Spring Trail, Middle Green Gulch Trail (uphill only), Olema Valley Trail and Rush Creek Trail. Soon we will add Bill’s Trail to the list. We have narrow trail riding at Camp Tamarancho and MCBC is advocating for biker/hiker trails that do not need to be built as wide as multi-use trails. Lastly, we have access to all of Marin’s Fire Roads thanks to the work of early trail advocates like Bicycle Trails Council of Marin. At one time land managers were considering closing all access to bikes on public lands.
Every trail user needs to do their part in this effort. As we work to close gaps, create long, connected routes and introduce new trail concepts to diversify your riding opportunities, we ask, beg, plead with you to:
Always Slow Down When Passing Other Trail Users
Don’t Build Illegal Trails
Ride Open Trails Only
Your efforts now will pay off for generations to follow.