Last night, September 17, 2015, LA County held the second in the series of planning meetings announced last month. Last night’s meeting was well-attended by mountain bikers, but also by local residents who are concerned about trails and fire roads through their properties at Tapia Canyon and other locations within the study area.
It was made clear at the meeting’s outset that the County trails policy is multi-use, and that nothing in this process takes away any property owners’ rights. Just because a trail is drawn somewhere on this plan doesn’t mean it will be constructed exactly where it is drawn, or that it will be constructed at all. It will guide the County’s planning efforts for future growth.
Disrespectful and illegal behavior by a small non-representative group of riders has tarnished the image of mountain bikers in the area, while at the other end of the spectrum the NICA SoCal League teams in the area have done an outstanding job of representing our sport responsibly.
About 50 people gathered around four tables packed with maps to point out where there are important existing trails, brainstorm on where they’d like to see new connections and access points, and what types of features they’d like to see at a bike skills park. Property owners pointed out where their properties are on the map, and expressed valid concerns about trails that pass through their properties.
Some important issues came up, such as the preservation of iconic and unique trails in the Tapia Canyon area, access to Forest Service and Tapia Canyon blocked by the Tesoro development, and potential impacts of the Hidden Ranch at Tapia Canyon Development. It is these and other development proposals that have prompted the County to take on this important planning task. There are more people coming to the Castaic area, more homes, more business, more kids on bikes and more demand for recreational trails.
For example, there’s strong demand for a regional-quality bike park facility at Grasshopper Canyon in the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, as proposed by CORBA some time ago. We’d like to go big, including tot, beginner, intermediate and advanced pump tracks, progressive dirt jumps, a downhill flow trail, a permanent cyclocross/XC training and racing track, dual slalom tracks, four-cross course, progressive dirt jumps and skills areas. We’d also like to see smaller community pump tracks at easily-accessible locations through the area.
Among the other items being discussed were:
- A long-distance, multi-use trail around Castaic Lake including access to secluded bays and beaches.
- Trail connections from the Sports Complex to Castaic Lake SRA and to Charlie and Wayside canyons.
- Easier access to Tapia Canyon trails through the Tesoro development
- Continued access to Tapia via Wayside/Junkyard through the Hidden Ranch at Tapia development.
- Connections to Forest Service trails and fire roads
- Connections to Ventura County and Los Padres NF trails
- Preservation of iconic and unique Tapia trails such as Dog Tag, G-Out and others.
What else would you like to add? You can still let them know.
Make Your Comments Online at http://castaicmultiusetrails.org
The County understands that many people are unable to attend public meetings, or need more than just a meeting to consider their needs. An online Interactive Map allows members of the public to draw in where they’d like to see trails, bike park facilities or trailhead facilities such as parking, bathrooms and water fountains. This new planning tool also allows the public to upload gps tracks of existing trails. However, the interactivity goes both ways, once something is added to the map it becomes part of the public record that others can see an comment on. There are two more meetings scheduled, aimed at the hiking and equestrian communities respectively, though all meetings are open to all members of the public.
If trails and bike parks around Castaic and Santa Clarita Valley are important to you, visit http://castaicmultiusetrails.org to see what others are asking for and share your own thoughts with the County and planning consultants.