May 21, 2023 News No Comments

On Monday, June 23, the Park Commission will hear a report on the Upper Bidwell Park Baseline Trail Condition Survey. This document was scheduled to be out over two years ago and is finally available. Trails in Upper Bidwell Park are the largest contributor to soil erosion in the Park, not the Upper Park Road but the bike and hike paths. Finally this will be addressed, and hopefully remedied.

Park Commissions and citizens have asked that this problem be addressed by the City for years. While the City hasn’t exactly ignored it situation they have done little to address it. Mainly relying on volunteers and an occasional grant some trail work gets done. The first trail management plan was developed in the late 1990’s after years of willynilly trails being made by whomever wanted to ride their bike or hike wherever they wanted to go.

Trail Erosion Middle Trail, Upper Bidwell Park

The City will use this report to get grant funding for trail improvement projects. The City continues to not fund projects to restore and improve Bidwell Park and seems to only rely on grant solicitations when available and when they have a staff person to do it.

Trail Erosion, Middle Trail, Upper Bidwell Park

Trails in Middle and Lower Park need attention too. They have been ignored far too long. This winter’s rains made a mess of all the trails in the Park.

Random Trails above Horseshoe Lake in Middle Park.

By ignoring the problem for years the City has caused more and more damage. There has been a lot of volunteer work to try to stop people from going off trail. I worked on some years ago. We blocked the bootlegged trails with branches and two weeks later trail users pushed them off to the side to use the trail they wanted. The City has rarely tried to educate the public on proper trail use.

Bootleg trails in Middle Park. Park non-management at its finest.
Bootleg trails, Middle Trail

I’m looking forward to reading the new survey, nothing new in it actually. We’ve know about this problem for years and so has the City but they have done very little to manage it.

Written by Tom Barrett