I’ve talked about some of the illegal trails in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park before (Marie Calendars and Lizards) and received some feedback like, “well there’s no sign saying you can’t go there” and “it’s on Strava” and “it’s on Google Maps – why wouldn’t you trust that?”
A Recent Response from Park Rangers (2014)
The park rangers made it clear that Marie Calendar’s is illegal by posting a sign at the top of it. But people still do it. Lizards remains unmarked at this point and it’s on Google Maps, so I kind of understand the “confusion” there.
Do They Need to Post Signs in Multiple Languages?
What about a situation where you’re entering around a gate that clearly says “No Trespassing” like this one this at the end of Pinecrest Street in Laguna Beach, CA.
Apparently, the words “No Trespassing” don’t mean anything to 500+ people (that we know of) who passed straight around the gate to access a popular illegal trail section known as the “PCT UP” in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Because this trail not marked at the top, some might argue that coming DOWN the trail is OK. But what about going UP past this sign? Does it seem OK to you?
PCT “UP” on Strava.
What continues to amaze me is that the people posting their times on Strava sometimes represent the very businesses that supply mountain bikes to the people riding these trails. I won’t name any names, but the list includes some well known bike shops in Orange County. I also won’t go so far as to say that you should not shop at any bike shop who posts their illegal trail usage on Strava. But really, if you work for a bike shop, or are sponsored by a bike shop, shouldn’t you be staying off those trails and encouraging responsible trail use?
All this said, of course if you have to enter a no trespassing area because your life or the life of somebody in your party is in danger, then by all means you should find the exit of least resistance in the interest of safety. But when you start a ride knowing full well that what you are doing is illegal, and that you had a choice to pick a different trail, what’s your justification then?
In closing, using a quote from the movie, “Fight Club”, the first rule about fight club is that you do not talk about fight club. In context, if you illegal trail blazers want to continue your outlaw activities, maybe you should consider oh, I don’t know, maybe NOT POSTING IT ON STRAVA?