[LACo Parks & Rec] – Following two community meetings and the review of all comments, the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation announced today that it will uphold the Trail Assessment recommendations for the Placerita Canyon Trail and the Vasquez Rocks Heritage Trail.
The recommendation is to not allow mountain bikes on the Heritage Trail at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area in Agua Dulce and to allow mountain bikes on the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area in Newhall.
The recommendation to not allow mountain bikes on the Heritage Trail is based on the presence of significant cultural resources which could be negatively impacted by additional trail use; a lack of trails or connections to other trails outside the natural area where mountain biking is allowed; existing trail conditions which have been significantly compromised by many user created trails and the significant revegetation necessary to clarify the trail alignment.
The recommendation to allow mountain bikes on the Canyon Trail is contingent on the addition of pinch points, signage, erosion control measures and other trail maintenance items.
Trail maintenance for both trails will start within the next few weeks and following the completion of maintenance on the Canyon Trail, which is estimated to be completed in March 2013, mountain bikes will be allowed on the trail. The Department will address the safety concerns as identified in the Trail Assessment Report to ensure that the Placerita Canyon Trail is a safe trail for all users.
“We greatly appreciate the feedback we received from the community during and after the two community meetings,” said Russ Guiney, Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. “We received 784 comments and took each comment into consideration. Trail use is a passionate issue for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. We are hopeful that working together the user groups will enjoy the recreational benefit of the trails while allowing trail and resource sustainability for years to come.”
The Trail Assessment process was completed by an independent consultant, The Planning Center|DC&E, who has extensive trail operations and sustainability experience. The consultant conducted two community meetings and solicited comments from the public as a part of the assessment process and made the Trail Assessment recommendations. The process used by the consultant and the Department is similar to one developed by California State Parks, but was modified to reflect the County’s Trails Manual guidelines and classifications. The purpose of the assessment process was to evaluate the condition of the trail and the trail’s sustainability as it pertains to existing and/or proposed use(s).
Placerita Canyon Final Trail Assessment (10-3-2012)
Vasquez Rocks Final Trail Assessment (10-3-2012)