At a meeting last week hosted by Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation department, the draft reports on the Canyon Trail in Placerita Canyon and the Heritage trail in Vasquez Rocks were presented. Almost 200 people came to the meeting, and about half were against opening any trails to bikes (as usual). CORBA's comments are posted at Send your comments: Open the Canyon Trail, Reconsider the Heritage Trail

The recommendation of the report is to install pinch points, new signs, a posted speed limit, and a reduced speed/walk your bike zone near the visitor center, then allow bicycles on the Canyon Trail. This is an important trail for us as it was a popular part of the Los Pinetos trail loop, and is a great trail for beginners and families. We all know how few trails are easy enough for beginners. Additionally, the report recommends trail upgrades to address erosion, sustainability and resource protection. We are urging the County to prioritize the safety recommendations and open the trail to bikes, without waiting for all the recommended improvements for sustainability to be completed. It's not even clear that there is a budget to do the upgrades.

The Heritage trail is the only official County trail in Vasquez rocks. If you've ever hiked there, or looked at it in Google earth, there's an extensive network of trails. All of them are unofficial 'user-created' or 'social' trails except the Heritage trail. For that reason, only the Heritage trail was assessed, and it was found to be unsuitable for bikes, since there's a dirt road alternative, and no other trails to which it connects. We'd like to see the county address the damage to the Natural Area that has been made by years of hikers and equestrians going wherever they want in the park, without sticking to the official trails. When they do address that damage, we'd like them to upgrade the trail and add new official trails that meet the County's multi-use trail standards and are suitable for bikes.

There are some other broader issues that are included in CORBA's comments regarding the County's policy regarding bicycles in Natural Areas.

Send your comments to Lbradley@parks.lacounty.gov by July 19. Here's a start:

Thanks to the County for considering opening the Canyon and Heritage trails to bicycles. We fully support the opening of Canyon Trail to bicycles. We'd like to see the recommended safety modifications prioritized and installed as soon as possible, so that bicycles can return to the Canyon trail. Opening of the Canyon trail to bicycles should not be made contingent upon the completion of the other recommended improvements to the trail.

We'd also like to see the Heritage trail re-considered for bicycle access, taking into account the potential for future routes as the numerous social trails are either rehabilitated or brought up to County multi-use standards and made official trails.