Impacts of Limited Trail Maintenance



This photo of the North Rim Trail clearly shows that trail users are seeking smoother tread at the eroded trail’s edge. Unfortunately, this only results in more erosion of thin fragile soils — an unending widening of an undesirable scar.



A dramatic example of what commonly occurs at trail’s edge as a result of footsteps, tire tracks, etc.. This piece of soil — roots and all — has sloughed off onto the trail tread which, in its current condition, is also a conduit for water. The water, in turn, quickly dissolves the unfortunate sod, exposing the hardpan, and widening the trail.


A bootleg trail, the result of repeated passage off-trail. Bidwell Park’s open grasslands are certainly inviting and many bootleg trails exist. Every year new trails spring to life and others continue to erode the landscape. Many bootleg trails are too steep to hold soil; others are so near existing trails, they unnecessarily impact the visual character of the landscape.


A section of middle trail widens as users avoid apparently smooth hardpan to walk on dirt. The vegetation dies, and without its roots to hold the soil, the trail continues to erode and widen. Signs to educate the public about good trail etiquette could help with problems like this.