news Eight Miles of New Trails
Off-Road Momentum: Eight Miles of New Trails Opening Beginning in 2016 – Recent Trail Designations balance trail access and resource protection
MCBC supported the passage of Measure A , which will help open new bike trails in 2016!
After extensive public meetings, workshops and discussions over the past year, Marin County Parks recently adopted the Region 2 System Designation, increasing bike-legal trail access by 8 miles without the costlier expense and environmental impact of new trail construction.
MCBC supports this Region 2 System Designation – it meets the needs of all trail users, expands opportunities for mountain biking, and enhances the environment. The Designation provides for a balanced approach to road and trail management by:
- Maintaining all existing system trails as-is, with no proposed changes in use
- Adopting informal trails to increase legal trail access for all users, including mountain bikers
- Designating new access for mountain bikers in areas far from equestrian stables
- Improving adopted trails to reduce the erosion and transport of sediment into sensitive creek habitats
As required by the Regional Trails Management Plan (RTMP), adoption of these trails will include actions to improve their sustainability and environmental integrity. The newly-adopted trails will address the mountain bike community’s desire for a broad range of riding experiences, from the wider, gently-sloped multi-use experience of Contour Trail to the narrower and more technical experience of Juniper Trail.
These trails will provide a selection of loops and connections to facilitate longer distance cross-country rides. Finally, adoption of these trails will reduce the number of bicycle trips on steep, loose fire roads in the Region, which will reduce the potential for conflict with other users and decrease the risk of injuries from crashing on these harsh facilities.
ATTENTION: Provisionally designated trails will not be open for use until necessary environmental review and improvements are preformed on the segments
The creation of an official, legal trail network for mountain bikers in Region 2, along with new opportunities in Southern Marin’s Region 1, will help foster a sense of inclusion for the mountain biking community, which has traditionally been excluded from the type of trail experiences that have long been open to hikers and equestrians in Marin County.
Giving the mountain bike community a greater stake in the trail system will help sustain a “no tolerance” attitude towards illegal trail building and increase awareness of, and respect for, other trail users. MCBC is prepared to help Parks with initial outreach efforts as new trails open, including monitoring the area for evidence of illegal trail building so that it can be stamped out promptly.
MCBC’s Off-Road Program stands on three guiding principles: education, environmental stewardship, and expanded opportunities for mountain biking. We’ve demonstrated that all of these objectives are equally important and have followed through with consistent action. Since the opening of the Dias Ridge Trail in GGNRA, MCBC volunteers have returned each year to care for the trail and maintain drainage and safety features. With the Marin Conservation League and the Marin Horse Council, we are a founding member of Trail Partners and helped develop the “Slow & Say Hello!” campaign based on our knowledge of trail-sharing initiatives and incentives. We have distributed 1,500 bike bells at trailheads throughout the county, and advocated for policies and BMPs in the RTMP to promote safety, environmental stewardship, and mutual respect among all trail uses.
We are prepared and excited to continue these and related efforts and partnerships in support of Marin County Parks’ Region 2 Trail System Designation.