Mountain Biking Detoured In Redwood

This summer, you will have to plan ahead for your Redwood Regional Park biking trips – especially if you are a novice rider or are bringing your kids to the trails.

The most popular route for bicyclists, East Ridge, will be closed at Skyline Gate, from 8am – 5pm weekdays.  The good news is you can go mountain biking on weekends or after 5pm weekdays.

From now through September, the East Bay Regional Park District is cutting down old trees for fire prevention purposes.  While no one can argue with the importance of this “hazardous tree and fuel mitigation project,” the summer trail restrictions are a bummer.

What’s closed? The East Ridge Trail will be blocked between Skyline Gate and Prince Road, along with closures on Phillips Loop and Eucalyptus as well.

If you want to cycle from Skyline, then you would drop down to Stream Trail and ride up Prince Road to gain access to East Ridge traveling south.  This route’s challenging for novice riders, including steep and narrow terrain (see detailed map).

As Bay Area denizens, there are a few opportunities to protest the closures and detours.  The Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (BTCEB) and East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) encourage all interested riders to show up and make their views known:

  • July 22 at 2 pm – Attend the Executive Committee meeting of the East Bay Regional Park District, where there’s scheduled time for public comments (map).
  • July 29 at 7 pm – Attend a special meeting arranged for bicyclists and Park District staff, which will be held at the Trudeau Center (map).

My two cents?  It’s restrictive but not worth the protest.  While open access would be ideal, it’s just more important for the Park to deal with fire prevention measures.  I’m not fully informed on these matters, and welcome comments and debate here.

2009 Update: Starting September 8th, the East Ridge Trail will be closed from 8am – 5pm weekdays.  The closed portion runs between Skyline Gate and Prince Trail, where East Bay Parks says they are removing hazardous tree debris and diseased Monterey Pines.  This work is expected to wrap up by December, and you can read more here.

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