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Coronado National Forest Trail Plan

12 Nov 2022 6:50 PM | Kirk Astroth (Administrator)

The Coronado National Forest recently released its 15-year trail plan for the Catalina Ranger District. Public comments are being solicited until December 2nd, and there is a public meeting scheduled for November 17th from 5-7:00 PM at the Jewish Community Center on River Road. You can also review the entire plan here

Summary

  • 22 trail development projects
  • 18 access or trailhead projects
  • Little emphasis on motorized recreation since these are just under 6% of the trails, most of which are in Redington Pass area.
  • Only about 50 miles of current trails are really bikeable (about 20% of existing trails on the CNF).  The trail system has a lopsided range of difficulty which the Forest Service is attempting to correct.
  • There are currently about 240 miles of non-motorized unauthorized trails with 40 miles of those getting regular use.
  • Trail system in this plan will grow by 10% or about 55-80 miles of proposed new trails. Many will be beginner or intermediate trails.

    Removal of 25 miles of existing trails that are low use, unsustainable, or unauthorized.

    Nothing in the plan is cast in stone and could be modified and changed depending on results of a full NEPA review of each project or group of projects is submitted. Projects are conceptual only—specific locations and trail alignments may change (p. 4).

    Goal 1—Create a system of trails that will meet current and future users. (p. 27)

  • Seek access—resolve one issue each 3 years
  • Improve parking
  • Protect the AZT
  • Provide full range of difficulty w/focus on beginner and intermediate trails
  • Increase trail system mileage by 25 miles or 10% including both adoption of unauthorized trails and new construction.

  • Goal 2—Improve trail conditions and quality.  (p. 28)

  • Increase external support in volunteer hours and 3rd party contributions.

  • Goal 3—Mitigate the proliferation of unauthorized trails.

    Goal 4—Effectively manage trails to reduce user conflicts.

  • Emphasize trail etiquette
  • Create directional MTB trails
  • Improve sight lines and tread surface
  • Scheduling—look at add/even days for usage between MTB’ers and hikers

Goal 5—Advance non-recreation program goals (fire breaks, wildlife, move trails away from nearby roads.

From here, the plan goes into specifics, and pp. 30-41 are Proposed Trail modifications.  There is a summary of them on pp. 42-43.

Trail Development and Connectivity projects are described on pp. 44-56. There are 40 projects described in the plan. There is an increase in number of miles of trails for MTB’ers of 56%--approximately 55-86 miles through adoption of existing trails and building such as the directional Bug Jr. trail and the Fireline Trail.

Feedback can be submitted by email to sm.fs.scrd@usda.gov.


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