Posts Tagged ‘State Parks’

E-MTBs Prohibited from Malibu Creek, Point Mugu and Will Rogers State Parks

Friday, September 15th, 2017

On September 13, 2017, California State Parks Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap issued order 915-17-02, closing all trails in the Angeles District to electric bicycles. This includes multi-use trails in Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Park, and Point Mugu State Park.

E-MTB’s such as this Specialized Turbo Levo are prohibited from Santa Monica Mountains trails

Electric mountain bikes are already prohibited from Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and National Park Service trails.

Some trails and many popular bike routes in the Santa Monicas cross more than one of these jurisdictions. This had led to confusion as to where e-MTBs were allowed. Sap’s order states that consistency with neighboring jurisdictions is part of the justification used.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation current policy regarding e-MTBs leaves the decision at the District level, until such time as a formal state-wide policy is adopted. The order goes into effect on October 1st, 2017.

Enforcement is expected to begin then too, but we do not yet have information on how it will be enforced. As one can see in photo above, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish some e-MTbs from their non-electric brethren.

Sap’s order does appear to allow for exemptions. Law enforcement and emergency personnel may still use e-MTBs in the performance of their official duties without a prior written exemption.

Currently, Conejo Open Space trails are generally open to e-MTBs, as well as roads and trails appearing on the Angeles National Forest MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map).  Check the People for Bikes e-MTB Map for more information on where to legally ride electric mountain bikes.

2017-09-15 – Angeles District State Parks E-Bike Order


Pt. Mugu SP Closure Update

Monday, January 12th, 2015

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAs reported earlier this month, Point Mugu State Park has been closed to the public while the damage to the trails is being assessed and repaired. Heavy equipment has been working to reestablish Sycamore Canyon and the public is still being asked to stay out of the park until such time as it is safe. Trucks will be bringing in dirt from the slides that covered Pacific Coast Highway to aid in repair. State Parks’ Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap stated that the closure will extend until February 1, but that all attempts will be made to lift the closure sooner if possible.

Click here to see additional photos by Craig Sap of the mud slides effecting PCH and Point Mugu State Park.

Below is current trail damage assessment of the condition of the trails in Point Mugu State Park:

Blue Canyon Trail: Fair

Chumash Trail: Good

Chamberlain Trail: Excellent

Coastal Trail: Gone

Coyote Trail: Lower portion covered with debris

Fire Line Trail: Unknown

Fossil Trail: Poor condition

Great Dune View Trail: Good

Guadalasca Trail: Fair

Hidden Pond Connector Trail: Good

Hidden Pond Trail: 25% of repairs Complete

La Jolla Canyon Trail: Devastated

La Jolla Valley Loop Trail:  75% of repairs complete

La Jolla Valley Connector Trail: Fair

La Jolla Pond Trail: Cleared

Mugu Peak Loop Trail: Debris across trail needs to be smoothed out

Mugu Peak Spur Trail: Good

Old Boney Trail: Fair from Sycamore to Blue Canyon

Old Cabin Trail: Poor

Ray Miller Trail: 25% of repairs complete

 Sage Trail: Excellent

Scenic Trail: Fair

Serrano Canyon Trail: Good

Serrano Valley Loop Trail: Minor erosion

Serrano Valley Trail: Old Roadbed from gate has several large washouts, all stream crossings need rebuilding

Sin Nombre Trail: Fair

Sycamore Creek Trail: Heavy Damage to Stairs and Gabions                                 

Tri Peaks Trail: Unknown

Two Foxes Trail: Debris flows across the trail at the drainage crossings

Upper Sycamore Trail: Devastated

 Waterfall Trail: Good

Wood Canyon Vista Trail: Good


CORBA’s State Parks Change in Use PEIR Comments

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

CORBA has submitted comments on California State Parks Change In Use Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. Our comments are included below.

Currently, the Yearling trail has been approved for a change in use, pending the implementation of “Project Specific Requirements” which include a re-route and other trail modifications, for which the State does not presently have the resources to complete. Recently Bill’s Trail in Marin was also approved for multi-use, after more than a five-year process. Our comments reflect our desire to see the process streamlined and sped up.

While this is a step forward for gaining access to trails for bicycles in California State Parks, we see the process as overly burdensome and resource intensive. Given the State’s track record of meeting its stated goals and completing tasks, we have to question whether this additional process will slow down or speed up the process of opening trails to bicycles. However, the PEIR does in fact include some important documentation and acknowledgements of the legitimacy and appropriateness of allowing bicycles on trails, though it risks homogenizing State Parks trails to a “standard” that we feel will reduce the diversity of trail experiences for bicyclists. We’ll be reporting on the Change in Use process as the final version is released.


Stellar Weather Graces First Two CORBA Kids Rides of 2012

Friday, February 17th, 2012

The CORBA Kids Club started the New Year off right with a return to Sullivan Canyon in January and a Malibu Creek Park ride in February.

January’s Sullivan Canyon ride saw the kids improving their skills, with everybody riding over the cement waffle blocks that most of them walked in December.

The downed tree still blocked most of the main trail, and we used this as an opportunity for a snack break before heading back to the cars. Everybody showed great improvement on the hills. Five adults and six kids participated.  Check out the pictures from this great ride.

The CORBA Kids Club explored the Grasslands Trail during February’s Malibu Creek State Park ride. Dave taught the kids how to do a break-check on their bikes, discussed proper helmet fit, and how to handle horses on the trail. The morning started out cold, but everybody was pealing off layers by the time we hit some of the big hills. The skies were clear, the air was fresh, and it was a perfect day for a ride. We had the single-track route pretty much to ourselves until we came across a large group of MBU trainees on our way back.

There was a very challenging hill before our first break, and most everybody walked up, but two of the kids went down it twice. We also did some hiking sans bikes, all of which you can see on the photo gallery for this ride. Four adults and four kids, including two first-timers, participated. There is a lot more to explore in Malibu Creek State Park, so we will be back there in March.

Hope to see you at the next ride:
Saturday March 3 in Malibu Creek State Park.  Meet at 9 a.m. in the lower parking lot near the wooden stairs. Email for more information.

Proposed State Park Closures Threaten Bicycle Access

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Via the California Bicycle Coalition

This summer the state could begin closing 70 state parks, many of them popular for bike touring, bike camping and mountain biking. That’s why there’s a campaign to help keep them open.

Locally, the Santa Susanna State Historic Park is slated for closure.  This park is South of the 118 freeway, between Chatsworth and Rocky Peak. It includes some multi-use trails, including the old Santa Susanna Stagecoach road and El Camino Nuevo.

Statewide, there’s a lot at stake for bicyclists. Eighteen parks could be closed along the Pacific Coast Bike Route, an international bike touring destination and California’s only state-designated bike route, including two in Mendocino County that are crucial stops for bike tourists. Five parks popular for mountain biking, including Annadel, Brannan Island, China Camp, Henry Coe and Sugarloaf, are also on the closure list. Nineteen of the 58 state parks that offer low-cost “hike or bike” campsites for those arriving by bike or on foot are set to be closed.

Tell your legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown there are better solutions to the state’s budget crisis than closing state parks. Make the case in person at the 10th annual Park Advocacy Day on March 20 in Sacramento. If you own a business that would suffer due to the proposed state park closures, join the California State Parks Foundation’s “Closing Parks is Bad for Business” campaign.

CORBA comments on Topanga General Plan

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Topanga State Park General PlanAs we reported last year, a new Topanga General Plan is being developed by California State Parks. The plan will guide Topanga State Park’s future, ensuring that management practices are in line with the mission and objectives of the Park.

The general plan does not govern trail use designations, and instead defers to the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Master Plan, which is still in development.

The current draft of the plan was released in December.  The public comment period ends today, January 23, 2012.  Below are the comments that CORBA is submitting. Members of the public are also welcome to comment on the plan, which can be found at


February 23, 2012

Luke Serna, Environmental Coordinator
Topanga General Plan Team
California State Parks
Southern Service Center
8885 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 270
San Diego, CA 92108

Re.:  Topanga State Park General Plan

Dear Mr. Serna,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Topanga State Park General Plan. We have been involved in the process from the first public hearings, and are happy to see the plan approach its final iterations.  We congratulate you and the staff for moving the plan forward.  However, as CORBA represents off-road cyclists, there are a few items and omissions in the current draft about which we have some concerns.

1.  We read on page 49 “Eight additional focus group meetings were held to better understand a few site specific issues.” Then number 5 on page 50 mentions a focus group on user conflicts. CORBA as an organization representing off-road cyclists was not made aware of, and did not attend any such focus group. Nor did any of our members or anyone we can find in the bicycling community. There aren’t any details of who called the group or how that group’s findings may have affected the final plan. Without cyclists present, we are concerned that an unbalanced representation of user conflicts may have been made. Exclusion of one user group from such a focus group cannot possibly foster multi-use principles, just as excluding a user group from a trail furthers and deepens user conflicts when they do occur. Please document and clarify the process used to form this focus group and its findings as they pertain to the general plan. This would perhaps be suitable for inclusion as an appendix.

2. On page 65, it states “1. a. This management plan will address the ability of bikes, horses and other pack animals, and fire, construction and Park vehicles to carry and spread exotic plant seed throughout the Park.”  There is no mention of hiking boots, running shoes, shoe tread, socks or clothes as a vector for the spread of exotic seed. This should also be of concern and should be addressed, especially since hikers are much more likely than cyclists to go off-trail where they can be exposed to more seed than would otherwise be encountered by those staying on the trail. We feel this is an omission.

3. Page 53 states that “trail-use designations are not part of this plan…. However, trail corridors, as well as trail goals and guidelines, will be established as a part of this process.”  While these “trail corridors” appear in the legend of the map on page 105, the scale of the map and the visual indicators used in the legend do not allow for the easy identification of or distinction between “corridors” and existing trails.  A verbal description of each trail corridor proposed and/or a larger scale map would do much to alleviate and prevent any confusion. We feel we cannot adequately comment on the proposed trail corridors without fully understanding them.

4.  In Table 3, “Planning Matrix” on page 113, the Lagoon, Watershed Zone and Lower Topanga zones are listed as being restricted to “hiking on designated trails only.” To list an entire zone off-limits to other user groups will hamper the efforts to complete the Coastal Slope trail as it is envisioned–a multi-use long distance trail–that will pass through that zone. The Coastal Slope trail itself appears on the Lower Topanga/Lagoon Preferred Plan “Range of possible features” on page 115.  Making trail use decisions on a trail-by-trail basis, rather than a blanket closure of an entire area, will allow for better management of users in the area, and reduce impediments to the planned Coastal Slope Trail.

5.  According to the plan Musch Campground is open to bicycles.  However, the Musch Trail is currently closed to bicycle use. A formal change-in-use request has been submitted to convert that trail to multi-use including bicycles. How is Musch Campground currently accessed by bicycles?

Off-road cycling is a healthy outdoor recreational activity that entices people away from their couches and computers and into our treasured open spaces. Cyclists comprise a large portion of State Park visitors, yet only fire roads and Rogers Road are currently open to bikes in Topanga SP, concentrating bicycles on fewer trails, and placing them on wide fire roads that encourage high rates of downhill speed. This contributes to user conflicts and creates further divisiveness between user groups. We would like to see the General Plan recognize cycling as a legitimate, welcomed and, when managed appropriately, sustainable activity in Topanga State Park.

CORBA has a long history with State Parks in the Santa Monica Mountains. Our trail crew volunteers have worked on Rogers Road and many other trails in neighboring State Park units for many years. We note in the plan that there is a recommendation to continue to work with volunteer and non-profit groups. We work side-by-side with other user groups at State Trails Day and other events. CORBA works constantly to educate, inform and encourage off-road cyclists to practice good trail etiquette, and the vast majority do. We look forward to continuing and furthering our relationship with Topanga State Park and other SP units in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Thank you,

Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association

State Parks Programatic EIR Public Hearing

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

This Saturday, November 13, California State Parks will be hosting the final public hearing on their Draft Programatic EIR.

Bicycle access to trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and many other areas will be directly affected by the final version of this document, so it is important to ensure that mountain bikers are fully engaged in this process. CORBA and IMBA representatives will be attending, and we urge everyone who would like to see more trails opened for bicycles in State Parks to attend and make comments.

What is a Programatic EIR?  This is an effort to streamline the process of converting trails from one designation, such as hiker-only, to another designation, such as multi-use. This is good for mountain biking.  According to IMBA:

California State Park’s Director Ruth Coleman has embraced a statewide Programatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) that will improve the process to convert trails to shared-use status. “This will lay the groundwork for the efficient conversion of trails that IMBA California and clubs have been requesting for some time,” says IMBA California’s Tom Ward. This bodes well for efforts to open Bill’s Trail in Marin, as well as numerous trails in Santa Cruz and Humboldt counties, Mt Diablo State Park, Folsom State Recreation Area, Donor Lake State Park, various Sonoma County parks and miles of trails in the Los Angeles basin. According to Ward, park managers have often shown support for improved mountain bike access — but each time they attempt implementation they are threatened with lawsuits from opposing forces. “The intent of PEIR is to curtail the legal challenges to each trail conversion project,” says Ward. He adds, “This is a major milestone for IMBA’s efforts to increase mountain bike access in state parks.”

The meeting will take place from:

1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 13
Lake Activities Building,Lake Perris State Recreation Area,
17801 Lake Perris Drive,
Perris, CA 92571 [map].

The Notice of Preparation for the draft PEIR can be found at Public comments are being accepted through November 30. Comments on the PEIR may be submitted in person at the workshops, or by either mail to:

Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA  95814

Or by email to:
(Note:  In the Subject Line, write:  ‘Trails PEIR’)

Comments can also be submitted by Fax to: (916) 445-8883;  Please address faxes to: Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR

We’ll have more details and a more thorough report after Saturday’s presentation and hearing.