Don't Sanitize El Corte de Madera!

A hot issue for Bay area mountain bikers right now is the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District's (MROSD's) Use & Management plan for El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve. One of our major concerns is that the lovely, wild, tangled, narrow trails will be "sanitized", i.e. bulldozed (using the "trail machine", a miniature bulldozer) into flat, dusty, featureless highways like the trails in more heavily used preserves like Fremont Older OSP. Ross Finlayson's Keep El Corte de Madera wild! page is the definitive collection of information on the current status of El Corte de Madera.

MROSD has, fortunately, proved at least somewhat willing to listen to mountain bikers. There is new trail construction (singletrack, albeit not exceptionally technical singletrack) going on in the preserve, and with ROMP has been coordinating a series of trail maintenance sessions to build this new trail using mostly hand tools. Some of the newly constructed trails are the Manzanita trail, the El Corte de Madera Creek trail, and the Resolution Trail. Ride 'em and see what you think -- and then contact ROMP to find out more about how you can help build more new trails.

[Trail 94, with iris] Trail 94 is one of the trails threatened with closure or sanitization. Long portions of this trail are flat and beautiful, with lovely purple irises growing alongside the trail.

[Totem Trail] This is part of the Totem trail, another very nice trail, mostly not terribly steep, which is in danger.

[Leaf Trail] The Leaf Trail, buried in deep forest, may fare better. MROSD is willing to keep it open and let mountain bikers maintain it by hand. Perhaps, if we're lucky, this means it will be allowed to remain relatively narrow and wild. This is a great opportunity, and if we do a good job, perhaps they'll be willing to arrange a similar plan for the other trails.

[The 914] Alas, the old Porsche 914 which used to decorate the "914 trail" on the western edge of the preserve is no more -- MROSD has already dragged it out. Why? No one seems sure -- liability concerns?

Just in case you're unclear, here's a sample of what the previously legal trails look like at El Corte de Madera:
Nasty Wide Fire Road

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