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  1. #1
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    where are the best downhill/freeride trails in o.c.?

    hey yall,
    im looking to be directed to some of the finer downhill/freeride trails in orange county please!
    ive been riding palos verdes, and some other stuff up in l.a., and am looking to start heading a little south of l.a. for some great riding ive heard of. im very respectful of keeping a good thing quiet and only ride with a couple of riders who can hit anything and anyone into riding would dig them.
    if anyone wants to hook up with us this weekend and show us some stuff that would be great and well return the favor up here.
    not looking for cross country, but more downhill/freeride esque trails.
    if youve got some secret stash youd be willing to share, and you want you can p.m. me too
    thanks
    vcode

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcode
    hey yall,
    im looking to be directed to some of the finer downhill/freeride trails in orange county please!
    ive been riding palos verdes, and some other stuff up in l.a., and am looking to start heading a little south of l.a. for some great riding ive heard of. im very respectful of keeping a good thing quiet and only ride with a couple of riders who can hit anything and anyone into riding would dig them.
    if anyone wants to hook up with us this weekend and show us some stuff that would be great and well return the favor up here.
    not looking for cross country, but more downhill/freeride esque trails.
    if youve got some secret stash youd be willing to share, and you want you can p.m. me too
    thanks
    vcode
    Call the guys over at The Bike Company www.bikeco.com 1-877-224-5326. They'll fill you in on any DH trails(local DH pros hangout there). You could keep it simple(driving wise) and hit anything on the inside of the canyon @ Aliso Woods(Telonics & etc).

  3. #3
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    Laguna Canyon Rd

    You could keep it simple(driving wise) and hit anything on the inside of the canyon @ Aliso Woods(Telonics & etc).

    FYI - All of the trails from Aliso/Woods that drop to Laguna Canyon are "off the map". The exceptions are Stair Steps and Canyon Acres fire road. At the risk of sounding like the trail police, this info is best PM'd.

    A fun legal loop would start at Aliso down 5 Oaks, up Cholla, down Stair Steps, across Laguna Canyon Rd to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, up Willow to Bommer into El Moro, hit Fenceline/Missing Link, Down Red Tail/Rattlesnake, back up Rattlesnake/Redtail, Back to Bommer, down Down T&A aka Laguna Ridge. Back up Stair Steps (hike a bike) Down Rock-it or Lynx back to vehicle.

    C

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalEpic
    A fun legal loop would start at Aliso down 5 Oaks, up Cholla, down Stair Steps, across Laguna Canyon Rd to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, up Willow to Bommer into El Moro, hit Fenceline/Missing Link, Down Red Tail/Rattlesnake, back up Rattlesnake/Redtail, Back to Bommer, down Down T&A aka Laguna Ridge. Back up Stair Steps (hike a bike) Down Rock-it or Lynx back to vehicle.
    Whoa...I've never connected all those before. Sounds like a fun loop. I've only ridden cholla, lynx, and rock-it in Aliso. I've only ridden in El Moro once and have never done Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

  5. #5
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    dude I would not consider that loop a "downhill" ride
    That's like X-country all the way....sub 30 lb bike
    poor guy is gonna be haulin his 45 lb bike all up and down Laguna!

    Their are some gnarly technical downhill trails in Aliso Woods park
    of course not marked....and I'm not tellin!
    all easily accessable, even if you a wearing body armor

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Climbing?

    If someone can't climb Cholla and Willow I think I know what their New Year's resolution should be 45 lbs. bike or not. Rattlesnake and Stair Steps up is hike a bike. A PITA but I know if I'm driving a ways to get to So OC, one or two shuttle runs doesn't make sense to me. I'd much rather put a loop together even if it involves a little climbing/hiking. One could put a shuttle car at Laguna Coast to eliminate the hike up Stair Steps.

    If you read my post, the key words were "legal loop". Of course there are more options. That's what that PM button is for.

    C

  7. #7
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    thanks dudes!

    ill definately p.m. y'all for the info when i go down that way.
    appreciate the input.
    thx

  8. #8
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    Just a little heads-up for everyone on the "PM" type trails.

    Rangers now have citation powers and citation books in hand (as opposed to the simple non-financial warning notices from the past).

    Plus this park is currently under review for the full Recreational Resource Management Plan to determine the final plans for recreation and habitat protection in the area. There will be upcoming opportunities for public opinion and comments regarding trails.

    So it's really not a time to be introducing people to unauthorized trails in any area.

    Basic and simple rule is....if a trail is not on the land managers map, or identified by a sign; it's not an authorized trail and one could be stopped and cited for being on it. Fines can get costly, and increased number of citations for bikers would not do anything constructive to help our sport.

    There are plenty of legal trail options in this area with plenty of legal technical riding.

    Remember.......land managers constantly view these sites, and mountain biking is somewhat under a magnifying glass in many areas across the country. We'll all be much better off if we adopt and live by the IMBA rules, especially rule #1
    "Ride on Open Trails Only".

    Thanks, and see ya on the trails.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    Just a little heads-up for everyone on the "PM" type trails.

    Rangers now have citation powers and citation books in hand (as opposed to the simple non-financial warning notices from the past).

    Plus this park is currently under review for the full Recreational Resource Management Plan to determine the final plans for recreation and habitat protection in the area. There will be upcoming opportunities for public opinion and comments regarding trails.

    So it's really not a time to be introducing people to unauthorized trails in any area.

    Basic and simple rule is....if a trail is not on the land managers map, or identified by a sign; it's not an authorized trail and one could be stopped and cited for being on it. Fines can get costly, and increased number of citations for bikers would not do anything constructive to help our sport.

    There are plenty of legal trail options in this area with plenty of legal technical riding.

    Remember.......land managers constantly view these sites, and mountain biking is somewhat under a magnifying glass in many areas across the country. We'll all be much better off if we adopt and live by the IMBA rules, especially rule #1
    "Ride on Open Trails Only".

    Thanks, and see ya on the trails.
    Good luck with all of that.

    KC

  10. #10
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    that loop is duable on a big bike

    I have ridden the loop posted above on my 40lb bike with 2 chain rings. It was a bit tiring but well worth it for a legal loop. Aliso is full of good stuff, if you have the means I highly recommend.

  11. #11
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    Yes, land managers have powers to cite, but with many - many - many of the legal trails unsigned and many parks without a map to hand out or even posted (plus lack of a rmp), the county of Orange will get its' hat handed to them in court by the first person with balls to fight it. After that, the powers that be will put a freeze on issuing tickets until the county's ducks are in a row, which will be just shy of never.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkndrublic
    Yes, land managers have powers to cite, but with many - many - many of the legal trails unsigned and many parks without a map to hand out or even posted (plus lack of a rmp), the county of Orange will get its' hat handed to them in court by the first person with balls to fight it. After that, the powers that be will put a freeze on issuing tickets until the county's ducks are in a row, which will be just shy of never.
    Not sure which county parks you are indicating here, but the one's that I frequent do have trail maps that correctly correspond to trail markers. I'm also not sure which park you are referring to that lacks a RMP. From my knowledge, they all are operating under either an interim RMP or a final RMP.

    I think the County has its ducks in a row since the maps, signs and the message at the kiosks is there. Most of the parks I frequent do have the message about using open and signed trails only posted on the kiosks.

    Also, even if the park does not have a map posted on a kiosk or a posted “use open trails only poster”; as long as they have trail maps available, it is the ultimate responsibility of the user to know the rules. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in the courts. Before we hike or ride in any park, it is our responsibility to know the hours of operation, the open trails and the basic rules of the park.

    Feel free to e-mail or pm me with some of the “many” legal trails in County parks that you say exist without being on the County maps or with posted signs. I'm really curious where they are since I'm pretty familiar with the County parks, and I know the County is pretty good about trail maps.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    Not sure which county parks you are indicating here, but the one's that I frequent do have trail maps that correctly correspond to trail markers. I'm also not sure which park you are referring to that lacks a RMP. From my knowledge, they all are operating under either an interim RMP or a final RMP.

    I think the County has its ducks in a row since the maps, signs and the message at the kiosks is there. Most of the parks I frequent do have the message about using open and signed trails only posted on the kiosks.

    Also, even if the park does not have a map posted on a kiosk or a posted “use open trails only poster”; as long as they have trail maps available, it is the ultimate responsibility of the user to know the rules. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in the courts. Before we hike or ride in any park, it is our responsibility to know the hours of operation, the open trails and the basic rules of the park.

    Feel free to e-mail or pm me with some of the “many” legal trails in County parks that you say exist without being on the County maps or with posted signs. I'm really curious where they are since I'm pretty familiar with the County parks, and I know the County is pretty good about trail maps.

    Thanks
    How about this one, head over to Oaks and climb the *****es and look for a trail sign past the kiosk at the top of the second *****. I can guarantee you won't find a single trail marker of any sort denoting trail names, legal or whatever anywhere on the hill. There are also no maps of trails on the hill. The only thing they have marked are down below and all it would take is one instance of a missing sign and a contested ticket and then the rangers go back to managing land and give up their fantasy of being cops.

    I also know of a good many trails at O'Neil that don't have signage and I'm sure I can find others in other parks if I cared to look.

    Also, if rangers unfairly apply enforcement then they will end up in a hotbed of trouble as well. Dog walkers need to be cited if off leash, horses being run - ticket, hikers on illegal trails - ticket, geocache idiots off trail - fined, bobcats not using the portapotty - blamo... You get the idea. Like I said, rangers won't be citing for long. The only way that might change is if the county sees the revenue stream and begins to cite heavily, then rangers will no longer manage lands and instead bring in money. However, with the incompetience in the county park system, I sincerely doubt that'll happen.

    All it is going to take is one Mike Reeder type and this whole game is over.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkndrublic
    How about this one, head over to Oaks and climb the *****es and look for a trail sign past the kiosk at the top of the second *****. I can guarantee you won't find a single trail marker of any sort denoting trail names, legal or whatever anywhere on the hill. There are also no maps of trails on the hill. The only thing they have marked are down below and all it would take is one instance of a missing sign and a contested ticket and then the rangers go back to managing land and give up their fantasy of being cops.

    I also know of a good many trails at O'Neil that don't have signage and I'm sure I can find others in other parks if I cared to look.

    Also, if rangers unfairly apply enforcement then they will end up in a hotbed of trouble as well. Dog walkers need to be cited if off leash, horses being run - ticket, hikers on illegal trails - ticket, geocache idiots off trail - fined, bobcats not using the portapotty - blamo... You get the idea. Like I said, rangers won't be citing for long. The only way that might change is if the county sees the revenue stream and begins to cite heavily, then rangers will no longer manage lands and instead bring in money. However, with the incompetience in the county park system, I sincerely doubt that'll happen.

    All it is going to take is one Mike Reeder type and this whole game is over.

    No need for anger here.

    I don't frequent S.O., and I did state in my post that the ones I frequent were pretty clear in the messages; but I do know S.O. has trail maps and from what I recollect; there are markers that correspond to the trails on their maps. I'm not sure about the status of the plethora of trails in the upper area, and I’m not even sure if they are an actual part of the park, but I will do some research on those. One thing I’ve learned in the past is that if I don’t know something, I take steps to find the answers. I cannot speak intelligently on those particular trails, but I’ll certainly find out.

    Hypothetically speaking; I think it is safe to say that if there is an official map that only shows only one large loop trail, but there are 15 smaller trails snaking in-between the main loop trail; a pretty solid case could be stated that the interim trails were clearly not shown on the map, and could be easily identified and avoided by users; and a citation would stick.

    So I think the operative word is “mapped legal trail”, not just a “trail”.

    Also, I don't believe the rangers will be singling out any group, or actively looking to hand out citations. The citations simply just give them the ability to more efficiently handle some situations, and will more-than-likely be used as a last resort after education and advisements have not worked. A lot will also probably depend on the demeanor of the user.

    The reason I originally posted here about bikers (not hikers, dog owners, etc....), was due to the inference of a pm session to discuss “more options” than the “legal” trails, and the fact that this is a biker site. I thought is was prudent to let people know that it's not wise these days to be pm'ing back and forth and introducing riders to unauthorized trails. It's simply not a good practice, and if mountain bikers start getting cited on unauthorized trails, it won't send a good message for our sport.

    Again, there are plenty of legal trail options in Orange County, and quite a few other optional trails on private and/or some unimproved city areas that are somewhat uncontrolled.

    But in the County parks the message is pretty clear, and in many of the other public and private preserve areas, the fencing and signage is also clear.

    Bottom line to be safe is to know where you are riding, and:
    1. If it is an established area with a map of the trails available from the land manager; then stick only to the mapped trails.
    2. If it is an area that does not have a map, then make sure it is an area that is legal to enter, i.e.…look for fences and signs. If you have to go around, over or under a wire fence; it’s a pretty good bet you’re not supposed to be there. And just because you may find a cut or break in the fence with a nice trail running past it; just the presence of a fence should give a clue to the status of the area.
    3. If there is a land owner or land managers sign that states no trespassing or similar wording (even if the sign is faded or old), don’t ride there.

    I’m not saying that there are not mixed signals out there, because I do know of quite a few trails that are in areas that no one seems to have a clear jurisdiction on, and no agency (public or private)seems to be concerned with (and the officials that are aware of them don’t seem to have a problem). But as it pertains to the County operated parks, I still think they have their ducks in a row and it is still up to the user to educate themselves on the trails and rules. And as it pertains to areas that have fencing and signs in place, the signals are clear and should be heeded.

    If you have questions on a particular area, it’s not a bad idea to speak to the land managers to get the straight scoop; and if a popular trail is sending a mixed signal, there are regular public forums to bring these to the table and work with the land managers to clear up these types of questions.

    I’ve always found it’s better to get involved and find out the correct answers, and then work towards change through the proper channels if there are unclear signals out there.

    Again, no matter how you look at it; introducing people to popular unauthorized or questionable trails is not a good practice, and one can be cited if it’s not on the authorized map for the area. It’s not worth the risk of a citation and the detriment to the reputation of our sport to ignore some of the obvious signals that most of us can recognize that a particular trail may not be completely legal.

    Have fun riding out there.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    No need for anger here.
    No anger, just pointing out crystal clear errors in your statement. BTW, the trails at Oaks aren't named nor mapped by the county. They know where they are and they have a big overview of them in the way of a pretty picture, but when that property was taken as county inventory nothing was done.

    If you are cited, fight like hell to win the case. The one thing the County of Orange hates is attornies.

    One case lost and having to pay legal fees is going to cause the OC to go back to status quo.

    One more thing you forgot to take into account, while the county has rangers, very few leave their cubbies, patrol or even have the skills, interpersonal or otherwise, to cite. Heck, some don't even know the names of trails in their park, so citation is but a pipe dream for most.

    Keep your local knowledge local my brothas.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkndrublic
    No anger, just pointing out crystal clear errors in your statement. BTW, the trails at Oaks aren't named nor mapped by the county. They know where they are and they have a big overview of them in the way of a pretty picture, but when that property was taken as county inventory nothing was done.

    If you are cited, fight like hell to win the case. The one thing the County of Orange hates is attornies.

    One case lost and having to pay legal fees is going to cause the OC to go back to status quo.

    One more thing you forgot to take into account, while the county has rangers, very few leave their cubbies, patrol or even have the skills, interpersonal or otherwise, to cite. Heck, some don't even know the names of trails in their park, so citation is but a pipe dream for most.

    Keep your local knowledge local my brothas.
    I guess we have to agree to disagree, and I guess my impression about the anger was due to the types of comments on the Rangers as mirrored in the above statement. "While the county has Rangers, very few leave their cubbies, patrol or even have the skills, interpersonal or otherwise, to cite".

    These are unconstructive personal attacks on people doing their jobs and are your personal opinion, and an unfair statement about the Rangers. Since I'm not too impressed with these types of generalizations, I guess we probably won't hit on any common ground; but I would like to at least say to you, that if you hear some other user groups touting unfair and untrue generalizations about mountain bikers; try not to get too upset, and look back on your own generalizations about Rangers.

    Our sport suffers the same type of generalizations far too often, and we shouldn’t fall into the same trap.

    The bottom line still exists, that one can be cited for being on an unauthorized trail, and in the County Parks that I frequent, the messages are pretty clear. There is a clear definition between authorized and unauthorized trails; and numerous sheriffs’ citations have stuck successfully in the past.

    The County did not come to the decision to give power of citation to the Rangers over-night or lightly; or without serious research, training, and legal checks. It was a needed and prudent decision and will give these people, who IMO are qualified and serious about their jobs, the power to more effectively do the job.

    Signing off on this post; and I will research S.O. to keep informed.

    Have fun riding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    I guess we have to agree to disagree, and I guess my impression about the anger was due to the types of comments on the Rangers as mirrored in the above statement. "While the county has Rangers, very few leave their cubbies, patrol or even have the skills, interpersonal or otherwise, to cite".

    These are unconstructive personal attacks on people doing their jobs and are your personal opinion, and an unfair statement about the Rangers. Since I'm not too impressed with these types of generalizations, I guess we probably won't hit on any common ground; but I would like to at least say to you, that if you hear some other user groups touting unfair and untrue generalizations about mountain bikers; try not to get too upset, and look back on your own generalizations about Rangers.

    .
    Wah.

    There are some good rangers out there, but the bad ones I can point out by the boat load. Rangers watching football games via portable TV during Sunday sessions? Happens. Rangers that don't know their trail names? Happens. Rangers that don't patrol? Happens.

    What about rangers that sling mud at advocacy groups (that donate thousands of hours of personal and family time to parks) to make themselves look important, and then use that slung mud to then try to coerce that same advocacy group to "name names" of people riding illegal trails?

    That one should ring pretty true, eh Mr. Ranger? And here I thought McCarthyism was over a long time ago.

    "Our sport" is pretty funny coming from an outsider. Now THAT is a personal attack, get it straight, willya bud?!?
    Last edited by punkndrublic; 01-13-2006 at 01:51 AM. Reason: my bad, correcting a mistatement based upon fact.

  18. #18
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    You know, I've got this one all wrong. Since land managers (your peers now) do read this thread I'm thinking about playing a little game. I like that show, "The Adam Carrolla Project" so much I may name it the, "The Adam Maywhort Project".

    It would go something like this:

    I would name names of rangers not doing their job right here in print just like you grandstanded with one of ours to make yourself look good, instead of going to that person directly, like a man. So, just like you threw that person under the bus, I could get that bus rolling your direction as sort of a "welcome to the ranks".

    Lessee, I could start with the ranger who is always late (usually hours) and has lots of cats, the one who's daddy works in the county and on Sundays he usually has the office door locked and is watching football on a portable, the one assigned a new park six months ago and has still not seen an overwhelming majority of the trails OR, my personal favorite, the one who had his girlfriend (she was cute) hang out in the office with him all day while the boss was on vacation.

    This could be fun, eh?

  19. #19
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Wow!

    Lock & load boys! As quoted by Rodney the Great, "Why can we just all get along????" . Whatever the reason, we don't need people riding on illegal trails in south county.... that's a slippery slope that does not bode well for local mountain bikers. This is a no-win situation for us.

    Agree to disagree and stop the escalation...

    Bottom line: Don't ride on illegal trails!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    Just a little heads-up for everyone on the "PM" type trails.

    Rangers now have citation powers and citation books in hand (as opposed to the simple non-financial warning notices from the past).

    Plus this park is currently under review for the full Recreational Resource Management Plan to determine the final plans for recreation and habitat protection in the area. There will be upcoming opportunities for public opinion and comments regarding trails.

    So it's really not a time to be introducing people to unauthorized trails in any area.

    Basic and simple rule is....if a trail is not on the land managers map, or identified by a sign; it's not an authorized trail and one could be stopped and cited for being on it. Fines can get costly, and increased number of citations for bikers would not do anything constructive to help our sport.

    There are plenty of legal trail options in this area with plenty of legal technical riding.

    Remember.......land managers constantly view these sites, and mountain biking is somewhat under a magnifying glass in many areas across the country. We'll all be much better off if we adopt and live by the IMBA rules, especially rule #1
    "Ride on Open Trails Only".

    Thanks, and see ya on the trails.
    Very well said. It's people riding illegal trails that get whole areas shut down. Plain and simple: Don't do it.

    CG
    Chris G
    Riding a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro 120
    Somewhere behind the Orange Curtain

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