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Park It: Illegal ‘bootleg’ trails, increased traffic impetus for pilot project near Martinez

Tags: trails park zone

A two-year pilot project relating to trail use at the northeast corner of Briones Regional Park near Martinez will begin on April 21.

The Briones Pilot Project will test a variety of trail management strategies to improve the parkland experience for everyone, reduce conflicts between trail users, as well as protect habitat, wildlife and watersheds.

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The project zone is generally east of the Toyon Canyon, Briones Crest, Table Top and Sunrise trails.

One impetus for the project was the rising number of parkland visitors in recent years, with the resulting need to find ways to share the trails. Another was the growing number of illegal “bootleg” trails at Briones and other regional parks. These illegally built routes are not up to sustainable trail design standards and can adversely impact the watersheds and harm wildlife.

Within the Zone, equestrians and bicycle riders will alternate trail use on weekends.

Horses will be allowed in the zone on even-numbered weekend days; bikes will be allowed in the zone on odd-numbered weekend days. No horses will be allowed in the zone at all on weekend bicycle days, even on trails normally open to equestrians — and vice-versa.

Some trails within the zone will be designated for bike-use only, limited to a downhill direction of travel. There will be signs at the top and bottom of the trails. These trails are recommended for expert riders only. On even-numbered weekend days, bikes will be prohibited from using any trails in the zone, including bike-only trails. Some other user-built trails in the zone will be closed for restoration.

The odd-even day restrictions in the zone apply only to bicycle and horse use during weekends. Hikers can use trails in the zone seven days per week during normal park hours. But for their safety, hikers should never use the bikes-only trails.

In the rest of the park, equestrians and cyclists will not need to alternate weekend days. Standard trail regulations will apply seven days per week, as set forth in the East Bay Regional Park District’s Ordinance 38. Visitors should stay on official trails. Hikers and bicycles are supposed to yield the right of way to equestrians; bicycles yield to hikers.

The Briones Pilot Project is described in detail on the pilot project webpage, ebparks.org/briones-pilot-project. I’d advise reading it before you set out. The description includes a trail map of the zone with a user key, a chart of the pilot zone trail use schedule, plus a list of answers to frequently asked questions. You can also sign up to receive updates or volunteer to help with the project.

Alameda: A flower walk is on the agenda during Family Nature Fun Hour, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Doug Siden Visitor Center at Crab Cove in Alameda.

The program is free of charge and registration is not necessary. It repeats at the same time on April 16.

Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Antioch: With the arrival of warmer weather, snakes are beginning to venture out above ground at parks and open space including Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.

During a program from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on April 16, naturalist Jessica Kauzer will talk about snake activity in the springtime, and what to do if you see them on the trails. Weather permitting, a live snake will be part of the program.

Meet Jessica at Black Diamond Mines’ uppermost parking lot, 3½ miles south of Highway 4 and a mile past the park’s entrance kiosk.

The program is free and registration is not necessary. Heavy rain may cancel. Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For information, call 510-544-2750.

Oakley: A Delta-themed puppet show with naturalist Miriam Klingler will be the featured attraction from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on April 16, at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. Bring a blanket and a snack: meet at the visitor center.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Rd. off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Online: For a full list of programs and activities available in the regional parks, visit ebparks.org/things-to-do. And be sure to check at the website before visiting a parkland, to be sure that adverse weather or other factors have not resulted in a program cancellation or limited park use.

Ned MacKay writes about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at [email protected].



This post first appeared on This Story Behind Better Solution Weight Loss Will Haunt You Forever!, please read the originial post: here

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Park It: Illegal ‘bootleg’ trails, increased traffic impetus for pilot project near Martinez

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