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  1. #1
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    Mission Trails Crackdown

    I posted this at STR, but I am posting this here too as a heads-up:

    I was riding Spring Canyon at Mission Trails this morning when I was stopped by a USMC Officer (Major or Colonel), and told I was trespassing. He cited vandalism and a danger to the public from the firing range as reasons for the crackdown. Of course, he did not really have to explain anything, but he was very polite and well-informed ( He even broke-out a large map).

    I brought up the difficulty in avoiding trespassing when there is a lack of signage, and the confusion on my part as to where the boundaries are. He said military land started about 1,500 meters North of the 52, and that signage would be posted soon.

    Violators will be given one warning, and if caught a second time, a citation will be issued and a court appearance required. He said the same holds true for the military portion of Sycamore Canyon.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the heads up. I sure don't need to be caught again...$1,000 fine I was told.

    Did they take you out to the "processing" area? If not you're a lucky bastard.

    We were forced to ride out (escorted) off the base to Hwy 15....not the way we came in.
    It wasn't me

  3. #3
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    wow...that sucks....

    Thanks for the heads up. I was gonna go out there tomorrow morning.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    wow...that sucks....

    Thanks for the heads up. I was gonna go out there tomorrow morning.
    xjbebop, You wouldn't have wanted to go out there anyways. I have heard of recent Mountain Lion sightings or Bobcat sightings or vice versa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howeler
    Thanks for the heads up. I sure don't need to be caught again...$1,000 fine I was told.

    Did they take you out to the "processing" area? If not you're a lucky bastard.

    We were forced to ride out (escorted) off the base to Hwy 15....not the way we came in.
    No, he did not take me to the "'processing area." He did copy info off my ID, and he asked me to let others know they are stepping-up enforcement.

  6. #6
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    I said it over there and I will say it here too

    You can thank all of those who arrange group meetings, meetups and give lengthy ride reports concerning this area, post pictures and the like.

    I have said it before, I will say it again. Keep your F-ing mouths shut, keep your pictures to yourselves.

    You know and I know that people are riding areas that are not legal east of the 52.

    a couple of people a day are easy to turn a blind eye to. 20 people in a group are not easy to turn a blind eye to.

    I just cannot understand what it takes for people to learn to keep their mouths shut.

    Yes, flame away, make threats etc.

    I know when I am riding illegal trails. I also know I go in with 1 or 2 others, have fun, respect the place and get out.

    As one who rides there often, thanks to all of you who could not keep a good thing to yourselves, you have helped to ruin a good thing (for now).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocd
    You can thank all of those who arrange group meetings, meetups and give lengthy ride reports concerning this area, post pictures and the like.

    I have said it before, I will say it again. Keep your F-ing mouths shut, keep your pictures to yourselves.

    You know and I know that people are riding areas that are not legal east of the 52.

    a couple of people a day are easy to turn a blind eye to. 20 people in a group are not easy to turn a blind eye to.

    I just cannot understand what it takes for people to learn to keep their mouths shut.

    Yes, flame away, make threats etc.

    I know when I am riding illegal trails. I also know I go in with 1 or 2 others, have fun, respect the place and get out.

    As one who rides there often, thanks to all of you who could not keep a good thing to yourselves, you have helped to ruin a good thing (for now).
    I replied over there, and I am replying here, too.

    With your viewpoint, you should be pleased I posted this warning, as it will probably discourage others from riding there.

    I do not knowingly ride on illegal trails. I had received many different answers from many different sources as to the legality of riding Spring Canyon North of the 52. The most common response was to stay below the ridge and I would be fine--Now I know otherwise.

  8. #8
    ocd
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    chips I apologize

    Quote Originally Posted by ChipsandSalsa
    I replied over there, and I am replying here, too.

    With your viewpoint, you should be pleased I posted this warning, as it will probably discourage others from riding there.

    I do not knowingly ride on illegal trails. I had received many different answers from many different sources as to the legality of riding Spring Canyon North of the 52. The most common response was to stay below the ridge and I would be fine--Now I know otherwise.
    I should have said *most* or *many* know they are riding illegal trails. Yet they come to message boards, post pictures, organize group rides or the like.

    People dont like to hear the truth but the truth is, the groups of 5, 10, 15, 20 people, the pictures, the internet posts bring too much attention to canyon(s) area east of the 52 from the grasslands. It is or was posted at some point and many people know better.

    Yes, I have ridden there plenty knowing I was out of line and am more than willing to deal with the consequences. I truly believe we could have continued to ride until land is acquired (although the details of what land is sketchy) if there was not so much exposure.

    I can say that if it was a major or a Lt Colonel stopped you, the word is out to "secure the area", possibly a unit had things going on. If it was a full bird colonel who stopped you. Phew, if he wants the area shut down, the area will be shut down and patrolled 24/7

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    No worries, OCD...Apology accepted.

    I said he was a Major or Colonel because he had a gold-colored, maple-leaf shaped insignia on his lapel. He was in camoflouge attire, and he actually hiked down into the canyon very calmly and slowly. He seemed very knowledgeable about the area, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to pick his brain a little.

    I was looking at the map he had and I should have paid more attention to his answers. I think he said the reason we could ride the 1,500 meters (approximately one mile) past the 52 is because the military had given that parcel of land back to the City of San Diego.

  10. #10
    ocd
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    Chips, I didn't mean you

    I did mean those who are "in the know" around here yet still post pictures and the like.

    gold star == Major. Probably had his unit out doing something.


    Those guys are dealing with enough sh1t already let alone some people on bikes.

    It is all a bummer.

  11. #11
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    So you were not on the ridge at the end of Spring, but you were down in the canyon on the main Spring Canyon trail? Approximately where were you? I was told by someone associated with SDMBA that Spring, Oak and the area between the canyons was already handed over to the county or city (I can't recall which) and that we were not trespassing on military land when riding those trails. Can someone from SDMBA chime in?

  12. #12
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    No, I never went up on the ridge. I went North straight up the main Spring Canyon trail and I veered right at the first side trail, approximately 1 mile North of the 52. It continues a gradual climb North for about a mile, where it gets much steeper for the last 200-300 yards. I was resting at this point just before the steep section but I was still in the canyon. The Marine was up on the ridge and walked down to me. I was about 3,000 meters (less than two miles) North of the 52, as he told me I was an additional 1,500 meters north of where I was allowed. He was clear that 1,500 meters North of the 52 was legal, but no further. I believe this canyon is two corridors East of the main Spring Canyon trail.
    Last edited by ChipsandSalsa; 05-20-2008 at 10:41 PM.

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    ? I thought this is common occurence there, even during the Navy days.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mealsonwheels
    So you were not on the ridge at the end of Spring, but you were down in the canyon on the main Spring Canyon trail? Approximately where were you? I was told by someone associated with SDMBA that Spring, Oak and the area between the canyons was already handed over to the county or city (I can't recall which) and that we were not trespassing on military land when riding those trails. Can someone from SDMBA chime in?
    The land is NOT proper Mission Trails yet Ryan. Whoever told you this info is wrong. The county is still working on transfer of the land to connect to Sycamore. It's a loooong process that's been in the works for 5 years now (maybe longer, I have to look at my dates).

    Whoever wants up to date info should call Erin at Dianne Jacob's office. Look up the number on the county website. EDIT: News can change daily on these things.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipsandSalsa
    No, I never went up on the ridge. I went North straight up the main Spring Canyon trail and I veered right at the first side trail, approximately 1 mile North of the 52. It continues a gradual climb North for about a mile, where it gets much steeper for the last 200-300 yards. I was resting at this point just before the steep section but I was still in the canyon. The Marine was up on the ridge and walked down to me. I was about 3,000 meters (less than two miles) North of the 52, as he told me I was an additional 1,500 meters north of where I was allowed. He was clear that 1,500 meters North of the 52 was legal, but no further. I believe this canyon is two corridors East of the main Spring Canyon trail.
    I know exactly where you are talking about. I'm surprised they are patrolling over there. Typically they are concerned about people cresting the ridge to the west due to the proximity of the firing range.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouse jockey
    The land is NOT proper Mission Trails yet Ryan. Whoever told you this info is wrong. The county is still working on transfer of the land to connect to Sycamore. It's a loooong process that's been in the works for 5 years now (maybe longer, I have to look at my dates).

    Whoever wants up to date info should call Erin at Dianne Jacob's office. Look up the number on the county website. EDIT: News can change daily on these things.
    Tom, I wasn't told that it is Mission Trails. I was told the land was transferred from the military to the city or county (I don't recall) then transferred again either to the city or county of SD (again I don't recall). I was told we are waiting on the final transfer to MTRP. Thanks for the info...including who to contact.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mealsonwheels
    Tom, I wasn't told that it is Mission Trails. I was told the land was transferred from the military to the city or county (I don't recall) then transferred again either to the city or county of SD (again I don't recall). I was told we are waiting on the final transfer to MTRP. Thanks for the info...including who to contact.
    The Marine told me it was the land bounded by the 52 to the South, and extending1,500 meters to the North that was transferred back to the City/County. Could it be that the land I was on, which was more than 1,500 meters North of the 52, is not part of the transfer plan?

  18. #18
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    seems like it's going to be hit 'n miss until someone posts some proper signage at the 'boundry'. Almost every time I ride there or drive by on 52 I see someone going up / down the trail. And a -lot- of those people are not 'serious' mtb'ers, or even on bikes.
    However, thanks to this thread, those of us "in the loop" now have the responsibility to spread the word and help minimize the impact.
    Let's be part of the cure, not the problem...
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  19. #19
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    Whenever I do Mission Trails (which has been awhile since my truck was broken into at the Clairemont Mesa trailhead a few years ago), I never stray more than 100 yards north of the 52. Seems like an easy guide to follow. Just stay south of the 52 (for you directionally challenged youth, that's the Santee side) and you won't run into trouble.

  20. #20
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    Of course it would be safe and legal to stay South of the 52 on the Santee side and just putter around on the Grasslands.

    First, you would be riding close to the Equestrian Staging Center, and you would obviously be much more likely to encounter Horses.

    Second, it is legal to ride North of the 52, the question is how far North?

    Third, even the Mission Trails park map rates the Grassland area a "1" on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the easiest.
    Last edited by ChipsandSalsa; 05-21-2008 at 05:03 PM.

  21. #21
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    Chips,

    Didn't you say it was legal to go 1,500 meters north of the 52?
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  22. #22
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    That is what the Marine told me as we looked at his map...1,500 meters. I would assume this is in a straight line, so with a slightly winding trail I would imagine a bike computer would register a little more distance.

    But my main point in all this, and the main source of my frustration is the property lines should be marked, and I should be able to easily find supporting documentation that is not conflicting.

    If an MTRP Ranger escorts me out there, would he be able to show me with certainty where the city/county property ends and the military property begins? The Park map still shows the boundary at the 52.

    So far, that it is legal to ride 1,500 meters North of the 52 seems the most well-supported answer.
    Last edited by ChipsandSalsa; 05-21-2008 at 01:15 PM.

  23. #23
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    According to Miramar Marine Air Base and MTRP, and as Mouse Jockey posted, the land north of the 52 overpass at Spring Canyon is land that is in the process of being transfered over to MTRP. MTRP has plans of constructing an information kiosk at Spring Canyon either this weekend or next weekend. Lets not screw up this transfer of land by riding where we are not sure where the boundrys are.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=Boulder Pilot]Chips,

    Didn't you say it was legal to go 1,500 meters north of the 52?
    ______________________


    Can you break it down into laymen’s terms? You know like feet, yards or miles. I agree we need to abide by their rules in order to keep us from being permanently banned. Unfortunately we have quite a few "rule breakers" as of late. It must be something in the water system.
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  25. #25
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    1,500 meters = 4,950 feet/1,650 yards/.94 miles... On that trail, probably about a mile on the bike computer. I have decided to ride elsewhere until this gets sorted out.
    Last edited by ChipsandSalsa; 05-21-2008 at 06:15 PM.

  26. #26
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    Cyclist dies at Sycamore Canyon? Is it true that the Marines delayed Lifeflight to this guy?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    Cyclist dies at Sycamore Canyon? Is it true that the Marines delayed Lifeflight to this guy?
    I remember that thread but couldn't tell you about the life flight refusal. Very sad deal and apparently his nephew frequent's this board
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  28. #28
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    ok so this kinda blows because that was one of my regular trails buy who knows anything about sycamore canyon, the one behind santee lakes?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipsandSalsa
    That is what the Marine told me as we looked at his map...1,500 meters. I would assume this is in a straight line, so with a slightly winding trail I would imagine a bike computer would register a little more distance.

    But my main point in all this, and the main source of my frustration is the property lines should be marked, and I should be able to easily find supporting documentation that is not conflicting.

    If an MTRP Ranger escorts me out there, would he be able to show me with certainty where the city/county property ends and the military property begins? The Park map still shows the boundary at the 52.

    So far, that it is legal to ride 1,500 meters North of the 52 seems the most well-supported answer.
    The correct boundaries of the military land was marked by a sign and fence at one time. Actually the fence was well within the military base. The old sign post is still there. You can see the post and look up on the sides of the canyon and see the white signs where the base begins. The Navy replaced the sign a few times and it was removed. When the Marine Corps took over the base, they placed a fence on the trail and posted a sign at the fence. They patrolled the canyon in HVs on Saturdays for a while. I can't see where this land has anything to do with a connection to Sycamore Canyon. The Marine Corps does have a firing range on the other side of the North crest of the canyon. They are trying to maintain a safe distance from the public for safety issues. That is the reason they gave me, for the enforcement of the boundaries. I no longer ride the canyons.
    Don

  30. #30
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    I ride the canyon all the way to the end 3-4 times a week. Half of the time i climb to the ridge and drop back in. In the last 4 years i have never seen any marines. Complete buzz kill...gearing up and riding out of my garage is soooo nice. Doing the nascar circuit around the meadows does not sound like much fun for an after work ride. I ride with one other guy at the most and never part of an advertised group. At least when it's hot i can have both sides of the canyone to myself. :

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipsandSalsa
    Of course it would be safe and legal to stay South of the 52 on the Santee side and just putter around on the Grasslands.

    First, you would be riding close to the Equestrian Staging Center, and you would obviously be much more likely to encounter Horses.

    Second, it is legal to ride North of the 52, the question is how far North?

    Third, even the Mission Trails park map rates the Grassland area a "1" on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the easiest.

    I'm not talking about the "Grasslands," which you seem to know so much about. I'm talking about riding mostly on the west side of Fortuna and east. It's easy to avoid anything north of the 52 and still get in plenty of tech and steep riding in the park.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTP
    I'm not talking about the "Grasslands," which you seem to know so much about. I'm talking about riding mostly on the west side of Fortuna and east. It's easy to avoid anything north of the 52 and still get in plenty of tech and steep riding in the park.
    You mentioned riding South of the 52 on the Santee side...That is why I mentioned the Grasslands. I have ridden many times in the Western and Central sections of MTRP, and Cowles Mountain, too, but I was looking for a little variety and the Eastern side of the Park offers that.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocd

    I have said it before, I will say it again. Keep your F-ing mouths shut, keep your pictures to yourselves.

    As one who rides there often, thanks to all of you who could not keep a good thing to yourselves, you have helped to ruin a good thing (for now).
    This ride is the most known ride of questionable (I guess not so questionable any longer) legal status in the county. everybody knows about it, everybody rides it. it's not the group rides that increased the military presence. it's just use. it matters little if on group of 20 rides the trail or twenty solo riders are out there. the fact that it's getting used is what made the military higher ups more aware of it.

    having said that, the signage out there absolutely sucks. unless you actually know the boundary, there's nothing that says you are actually leaving the park or entering the base. In fact, coming down Oak canyon, there's even a sign North of the 52 with park rules. I always found it odd that there would be a sign posting the park rules in a direction that nobody was supposed to be coming from........

    YR

  34. #34
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    Ride like a ghost in Spring and Oak.... Be like a ninja! Also, respect the land, I have seen trash in there, like water bottles and Clif Bar wrappers, cut that OUT!

  35. #35
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    Yes, you are correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott A.
    Ride like a ghost in Spring and Oak.... Be like a ninja! Also, respect the land, I have seen trash in there, like water bottles and Clif Bar wrappers, cut that OUT!

    That sums it up. Take out more than you took it.

  36. #36
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    Many of the people i see riding the canyon are pretty shadey charchters..torn jeans, flannel wearing, no helmet, scum of the earth people looking for a place to do go knows what. I would suspect that those people are not on these boards. They probably are not the ones leaving cliff bar wrapers, but might be the ones spray painting the freeway overpass and leaving toilet paper, mcdonalds wrapers and other things that a cyclist,hicker or horseback rider probably wont leave. Yes.. i have stopped to pick these things up among other items that are pretty foul. I would also like to thank the idiot that drove his off road vehicle all the way to the end of the canyon, leaving ruts and knocking over any brush within 5 feet of the trail. Who needs shovels and rakes when you got 35" BFG's to do all the hard labor. Rant over

  37. #37
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    I was also pissed when I saw the tracks from the off road vehicle, as I was riding up the trail I heard the sound of the truck thinking it could be two things, a military vehicle or some yahoo, as I turned the corner I saw a large red off road fire truck, they were surveying the road to see if the valley is accessible to emergency vehicles or if they need to widen the dirt road, in the 20 years I have been riding Spring and Oak the trail/road has been bladed about four times, so don’t be surprised if one day the “trail” is once again bladed into a road.
    "No matter where you go there you are" BUCKAROO BANZAI

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocd
    That sums it up. Take out more than you took it.
    in.
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  39. #39
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    This is what I have heard. Some of this info is just hard to get straight answers on.

    There is land that has been purchased north of 52 and is slated to be added to MTRP. I haven't been able to get public info about when the land is coming on line or where the trails will be. There is some land that belongs to MTRP up near Sycamore Canyon Preserve. I've been told this is located on the other side of the gate at the west end of the crossroads within Sycamore. This is land that will hopefully be accessible from Spring or Oak Canyon. This would create a loop when added to Sycamore Canyon.

    There is also land from the south gate of Sycamore Canyon Preserve to the power lines adjacent to Santee Lakes that will someday come on line too. This is part of the old Stowe Trail. An officially recognized Millennium Trail. The last I heard the date for this land to be added is 2011. The land purchase has been approved (it took an act of Congress) but the details have yet to be ironed out. It has a lot to do with how much the land will cost the county to buy.

    There is a fairly new trail that goes up West Sycamore Canyon. It has switch backs (not the best designed IMHO) and goes up to the ridges then drops back into Sycamore Canyon.

    I know there's been people stopped by the Marines because they come up on the ridge above Spring Canyon even though they can hear the live fire exercises going on at the nearby shooting range. Jeez.

    The Marines also use the ridge were the "new" trail is for training involving Super Stallions from the base. I can watch this from my house and exercises can occur during the day or evenings.

    I wonder how much of the Marine's reaction is from mountain bike activity and how much was caused by the recent article in the Reader about interesting military sites to visit on Miramar land that was published several weeks ago. There is also motorized off road activity that occurs in this area too.

    Of course the best thing to do is follow the Marine's instructions but don't be afraid to get the names of officers (if you can in this post 9/11 world) or information on who to contact for more information. It is always a good idea to not ride areas that are in negotiation. It would be ironic if jumping the gun on future trails would ruin the land deal in progress.

    I will try to find out more on the status of Sycamore because it is the park I liaison with.
    SDMBA Liaison, Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserves

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider
    This ride is the most known ride of questionable (I guess not so questionable any longer) legal status in the county. everybody knows about it, everybody rides it. it's not the group rides that increased the military presence. it's just use. it matters little if on group of 20 rides the trail or twenty solo riders are out there. the fact that it's getting used is what made the military higher ups more aware of it.

    YR
    I completely agree Yeti. This could be one of the busiest riding trails in SD and regardless of group rides these trails were bound to attract attention.

    Until more trails are opened to riders or land managers designate trails as bike-only people will continue to ride trails that are essentially "bike-only". Hikers have access to every trail in SD, yet riders which make up a large percentage of users are given no such preference. In fact we fight for the limited access we have.

    In MTRP rangers are toying with making North Cowles hiker-only. It's one of the onlyl fairly chunky trails within minutes of my house. I've been riding there for years, and it wasn't until the past year or two that I really saw an increase in the number of hikers. Now they want the trails to themselves. Sorry, I'm not giving this trail up.

    I vacillate between working with the system to gain or retain legal access to trails, or just giving up and riding. Aside from what we've heard about military patrols around Spring it seems that the best trails with the least user conflicts are the trails outside of parks and reserves.

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