In the spirit of cooperation and goodwill, Horse Hill (Alto Bowl Horse Owners Association) and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) are pleased to announce that they are co-hosting a series of trail sharing workshops prior to and in conjunction with the opening of the Bob Middagh Trail to bicyclists.
Marin County Open Space District is set to begin work on three key Alto Bowl Open Space Preserve projects this summer as part of their 2017 work plan. These include fixing erosion problems on the Alto Bowl Fire Road, rerouting the Gas Line Trail for hikers and equestrians, and upgrading and installing features on the Bob Middagh Trail to allow for multi-use. All these projects include environmental benefits.
We are extremely happy to see a work plan that is designed to benefit a variety of trail users, while also protecting natural habitats. Throughout the process, there has been open and transparent dialog, with the intent of collaborating with people who enjoy our open space preserves. According to a recent visitors survey, most people who recreate in these preserves live only a few miles away and visit on a frequent basis. These lands also act as natural travel corridors that connect locals with the larger parklands on and around Mt. Tam.
Marin County Parks and Open Space District confirmed their decision to open the Bob Middagh Trail to bicyclists last August. This single-track trail had historically been open to only hikers and equestrians. The introduction of faster-travelling cyclists to this trail raised concerns over safety issues for hikers, dog walkers and equestrians.
In an effort to address these concerns, the Open Space District plans to improve sightlines and reroute sections of the trail. In addition, they will add switchbacks to a steep section, making it easier to travel uphill. The switchbacks will also serve as a natural speed control mechanism reducing the chances of unsafe encounters between trail users.
Given that the Bob Middagh Trail change-in-use project is the first of its kind to move forward on open space land, Horse Hill and MCBC have pledged to work together to help make it a success. We will co-host a series of trail-sharing workshops leading up through the opening of the Bob Middagh Trail to bicyclists. The first of these free public workshops is scheduled for Saturday, March 18, at 10 am on the Alto Bowl Fire Road in Mill Valley.
We have seen steady positive results through the ongoing Tails & Tires workshops for high school mountain bike teams and the “Slow & Say Hello!” campaign. Horse Hill and and MCBC would like to invite the local residents and trail users to take part in this continuing conversation and join us at these workshops. By respectfully working together – we WILL make good things happen.
Amory Willis, Horse Hill
Tom Boss, MCBC