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  1. #1
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    Closure at Encinal Canyon/Backbone trail

    I just rode Backbone from Encinal parking lot today and the usually gated part crossing the private driveway coming from Etz Meloy fire road to Yerba Buena is now closed off with trespassing signs posted! The ride-around the road gate is now also gated and padlocked. Does anyone know anything about this? It totally screws up the ride to Mishe Mokwa by cutting it in half. You would have to drop your bike over the fence. Is this legit? I talked to someone in the parking lot who it was due to the elderly woman who owns the property but aside from wondering when she may pass away is there any more concrete knowledge on this?

  2. #2
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    Not sure where you're talking about, so I guess I need to get up there and ride it. Etz Meloy is not, and has never been, open to the public. That's why the sign at the top of the trail says the trail ends, even though there's a fire road where the trail tops out at the ridge. You cannot legally reach Yerba Buena from the dead-end section of Backbone, but dozens of cyclists violate that every weekend. Sounds like one of the property owners got some "backbone" of their own. The more bike tracks property owners find on their property, the more the local property owners will push back on access - look at the closures on Newton Motorway and Puerco Canyon. I'll look into this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1 View Post
    Etz Meloy is not, and has never been, open to the public.
    Do you have a source for this? From everything I've seen the portion from backbone to yerba buena is not private. I think there's even a trailhead sign at the intersection with backbone.

    Haven't seen the gate firsthand yet, but have heard about it.
    definite malingerer

  4. #4
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    Etz Meloy has an easement issue. No, there is NOT A SIGN at the top of Encinal Backbone that turns back recreational users, at least not anymore. Here's a recent photo (taken three weeks ago):
    Closure at Encinal Canyon/Backbone trail-20130927_161430-copy.jpg
    Closure at Encinal Canyon/Backbone trail-20130927_161430-1-copy.jpg


    And an article, note the area on the map circled in red. I had a conversation at Circle X with a friendly ranger back in 2011. His information was spot-on with the linked article above. When the Park Service acquires the remaining parcel(s) on Etz Meloy it will all "officially" become part of Backbone Trail.

    I don't know about a gate problem, other than the same ol' gate at the west end of Etz Meloy. I was planning to ride in that general area today but something came up and I didn't go.
    Last edited by LadyDi; 10-19-2013 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDi View Post
    Etz Meloy has an easement issue. No, there is NOT A SIGN at the top of Encinal Backbone that turns back recreational users, at least not anymore. Here's a recent photo (taken three weeks ago):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And an article, note the area on the map circled in red. I had a conversation at Circle X with a friendly ranger back in 2011. His information was spot-on with the linked article above. When the Park Service acquires the remaining parcel(s) on Etz Meloy it will all "officially" become part of Backbone Trail.

    I don't know about a gate problem, other than the same ol' gate at the west end of Etz Meloy. I was planning to ride in that general area today but something came up and I didn't go.
    Thanks for the clarification and the picture; I didn't think there was a sign stating Etz Meloy was restricted as I don't normally poach on private property. The "new" gate in the West end of Etz Meloy at Yerba Buena now has a smaller gate covering the portion you used to be able to ride through.

  6. #6
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    So, today I spent some time discussing the tightened gate issue with CORBA leadership. They are aware and trying to sort things out. If/when I know more I will PM you, Danger Bob.
    Never give up, never surrender.

  7. #7
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    I heard from the guys at the new bike & brew place on Kanan Road (is that the name of the place???) that the gate went up because someone had an accident there and the property owners want to restrict entry to keep that from happening again.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I heard from the guys at the new bike & brew place on Kanan Road (is that the name of the place???) that the gate went up because someone had an accident there and the property owners want to restrict entry to keep that from happening again.
    That's what I was afraid of.
    The shop is called JRA Bikes & Brew, good place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I heard from the guys at the new bike & brew place on Kanan Road (is that the name of the place???) that the gate went up because someone had an accident there and the property owners want to restrict entry to keep that from happening again.
    When I rode there on Saturday and discovered the locked gate, my riding buddy, who is an insurance agent, guessed it was done for liability issues. This being such a litigious society, coupled with the fact that judges normally find for the plaintiff on a private property accident, makes this somewhat understandable. Since it would be impractical for every person who wishes to pass over the property to sign a waiver indemnifying the owner(s) against liability, I wonder if by putting up the barrier and posting the trespassing sign, that the owner(s) haven't now sufficiently given clear notice that one passes over the property at their own risk, thereby indemnifying themselves against anyone who crosses over or around the gate (at their own risk)? Are there any real estate lawyers or other qualified MTBR's out there who could weigh in here?

  10. #10
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    If you read the signs posted, you will see that passage is allowed with the owner's permission, so it's not meant to stay out all together. BTW, why do private parties own sections of a hill where connector/utility roads are in place??? Seems like they should sell those sections of property to the state parks or someone like that and be done with it.
    Last edited by Hawg; 10-21-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Maye some of those trails that side of 101 could be made part of "Rim of the Valley Corridor"

  12. #12
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    @PerfectZero - I don't know how much of Etz Meloy is private, it's just not open to public use - or so I thought. LadyDi, however, is 100% right, and I'm only 80% right. There is now a nearly 3,000 foot long section of Etz Meloy that IS open to public use. I was told the state could not negotiate an easement agreement with that one property owner as they had hoped to do, so they paid the additional money to purchase the land outright. There are two remaining blockages between the newly-opened 3,000 foot section and Yerba Buena, but those negotiations are on-going. I'm not an "interested party" in those discussions, and I don't know how they're going.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1 View Post
    @PerfectZero - I don't know how much of Etz Meloy is private, it's just not open to public use - or so I thought. LadyDi, however, is 100% right, and I'm only 80% right. There is now a nearly 3,000 foot long section of Etz Meloy that IS open to public use. I was told the state could not negotiate an easement agreement with that one property owner as they had hoped to do, so they paid the additional money to purchase the land outright. There are two remaining blockages between the newly-opened 3,000 foot section and Yerba Buena, but those negotiations are on-going. I'm not an "interested party" in those discussions, and I don't know how they're going.
    Thanks for the info, that's good to know. It's only a matter of time now....
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolling thunder View Post
    maybe we should file for a prescriptive easement...
    definite malingerer

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    Of the last couple of times I've been up there, the small side / pass through gate has been locked... A real PITA, being I was by myself / had to turn around. If you ride with a buddy or two, you should be able to pass the bikes over the large gate. For those unfamiliar with this section. Its maybe 100yds east from the main gate / I'd guess its a 100ft or so section (of Melroy Mtn Way) with H20 tanks located on the sides of the fireroad. Its been marked with no NT signs since I can remember. Sure would be nice to get this issue resolved.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1 View Post
    ... look at the closures on Newton Motorway and Puerco Canyon..
    I just rode part of Puerco for the first time in 14 or so years and noticed all the fencing including one across the road that was open.

    I'm hijacking the thread a bit, but what's the access status riding from Puerco into Malibu State Park?

  18. #18
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    From the top of Puerco you can either head west on Castro Crest Motorway, past Corral Canyon, to drop into the park on Bulldog, or you can head north down Mesa Peak Motorway, which dumps out on Las Virgenes. There's a little section of singletrack near the bottom of Mesa Peak Motorway, on the left, but if you skip it and stay on the motorway HIT THE BRAKES long before you see the traffic on Las Virgenes - there's a serious gate at the bottom, with no ride-around, and the steep descent just before the gate is frequently covered with loose kitty litter, death cookies, and ruts. From the bottom of the motorway, or the parking lot at the east end of the singletrack, head north on Las Virgenes to Tapia Park (just across the bridge) and head west through Tapia Park. The Tapia Spur Trail heads north from the western end of Tapia Park, a couple hundred feet northeast of the Salvation Army Camp gate - to the right, as you're looking at the gate. Tapia Spur goes up and over the ridge to the north, and dumps you into Malibu Creek State Park at the east end of the campground.

  19. #19
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    CA Codes (civ:840-848)

    California does have a recreational use statute that encourages landowners to allow free public recreational use of their land by granting immunity from the most likely types of lawsuits, such as negligence. In Civil Code section 846 the "no duty" part allows a landowner to demur to a negligence complaint (document that starts the lawsuit) which can end the case within the first 60 days before the landowner has to pay huge sums fighting the lawsuit. A successful landowner can then get costs from the unsuccessful plaintiff, which includes a few hundred dollars in filings fees but not attorney's fees. Most attorneys who are asked to sue a landowner based on negligence accusations are going to decline unless the injured person was not a recreational user, was paying the landowner for access to the land, or was injured by some intentional hazard placing the injured person at risk.

  20. #20
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    i assume that anyone who posted to this site almost two months ago will know by now that the gate is now open,which i just found out. I didn't go to see this myself; I was riding from Encinal parking lot to T-1 and back yesterday, having studiously avoided the backbone trail heading toward Yerba Buena and the closed gate the past two months. A guy in the parking lot said it was now open, with no longer a small locked gate prohibiting passage. So I will start riding Backbone to Mishe Mokwa again!

  21. #21
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    That's great news!!!!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerBob View Post
    A guy in the parking lot said it was now open, with no longer a small locked gate prohibiting passage. So I will start riding Backbone to Mishe Mokwa again!
    Confirmed! We rode through it today.

    Thanks to the anyone involved in making it happen!
    So Cal Rod

  23. #23
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    We rode it on Friday. The new gate itself was not open but the blockage on the hillside of the gate has been removed, allowing easy passage while in the saddle.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  24. #24
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    Closure at Encinal Canyon/Backbone trail

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    We rode it on Friday. The new gate itself was not open but the blockage on the hillside of the gate has been removed, allowing easy passage while in the saddle.
    One of these days I'll get out there with you guys. One of the best SM Mtns. rides.
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  25. #25
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    the road is open. The pedestrian gate is still there but locked up against the vehicle entry gate. we are good for now...

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