Friday, October 17, 2008

Palisades Detour

Piled up logs: a good sign that the trail is closed.

I had big plans to continue my Spokane perimeter trail today, but I ended up petering out. I was just a bit pinched for time so I didn't feel like I could really get out north, search for some east-bound trails, find them, get lost, enjoy them, etc and still be back in town in time for my lunch appointment. So, I ended up going to Palisades and checking out a new section of the trail up on Rimrock.

About a week ago, local cyclist, trail builder, and Pugsley owner, David Nelson sent Mr Blaine and I a note about some trail work he'd just finished up at Palisades. Here's the meat of the e-mail (with some bits chopped out to keep it brief-ish):

I’m sure by now that if you ride in Palisades much that the section of trail 101 just north of the intersection of Greenwood and Rimrock has been closed by the private property owner who owns the land a 100 yard section crossed. One of our club members (Monica Spricker) surveyed the boundary of the
parcel and I marked a new route around it that has already been somewhattrampled out and I’ll be improving it over the next few days...

... it will make things much easier for everyone if people stay off the old section of trail. I’m going to reclaim the old section of trail so that hopefully people won’t even remember it’s there but it seems there are always one or two that can’t keep out...

Don’t worry; the re-route won’t be along Rimrock, in fact I think it’s going to be pretty fun and I tried to keep it on somewhat high ground because Palisades gets pretty swampy in the spring.

I went and rode the new section today. It needs a lot more traffic on it to get it worked in. It's a bit hard to follow, so if you want to check it out, keep an eye out for the little green flags. I GPS'd the section in question and posted it on Bikely for those who really want to be sure.

As I enter the realm of mountain biking I'm getting much more exposure to the ethics, issues, and realities of the public vs private land. It's becoming an interesting subject for me. I've exchanged some e-mail with Rich Landers this week on the issue and spent a bunch of time talking to Jon over at OTM about it too.

There's an article or a series of blog posts on the subject likely at some point, but the interesting bit to me is that there's a bunch of trails that traverse private and public property in and around our city. There are many many sympathetic land owners that allow cyclists, horse back riders, and runners to use the trails. Most of the trails are not well-known and are used by a very respectful set of recreational users. On the other hand, there are trails that traverse private land and are well-known, so well-known, that they're basically public trails. And there's trails, like this Palisades bit that have been around forever and cross private land and for some reason, the land owner doesn't want people crossing it. It's hard to really give this subject a full and in-depth treatment since the last thing you want to do is expose a bunch of trails and ruin things.

Anyway... here I am going on. The point for this particular section is that we know the land owner doesn't want us there, so as recreational trail users, it's super important that we respect that wish and use the new trail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our neighbor near the bottom of the HD trail extension to the south told me "people are welcome on our land as long as they are smiling." I grin a lot when I cross their property on my way home, it's hard not to.