County of Marin - News Releases - Road and Trail Plan

For Immediate Release
March 03, 2015

First Workshop Scheduled for Road and Trails Plan

Open space preserves in Southern Marin are focus of March 22 meeting

San Rafael, CA – After more than 40 years of acquiring lands, Marin County Parks is beginning to implement its first formal plan to manage roads and trails within its system of open space lands.

A view of a trail and wooden fence at Verissimo Hills Open Space Preserve in western Novato.The Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP), approved by the Marin County Open Space Board of Directors in December 2014, will have its first regional roll-out on March 22 when parks officials host a community workshop to discuss Blithedale Summit, King Mountain, Baltimore Canyon, Camino Alto, Horse Hill and Alto Bowl open space preserves. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto.

The RTMP was conceived to make roads and trails more safe, enjoyable, environmentally sustainable and financially manageable. The first step in RTMP implementation is the designation of a formal system of signed and maintained road and trail facilities.

“Roads and trails were traditionally inherited and added ad hoc as the lands were acquired,” said Carl Somers, Marin County Parks’ Chief of Planning & Acquisition. “For the first time in 40 years, the open space preserves will have a formally designated network of consistently signed and maintained roads and trails. That will help us establish and maintain clear internal priorities for maintenance and system improvement.

“We also believe that, when combined with implementation of the other elements of the RTMP, system designation will lead to reduced conflicts among visitors and reduced impacts on the natural environment.”

Once the formal system is established, work will begin to implement specific road and trail projects that would improve the designated network consistent with the RTMP’s multiple goals. Road and trail projects will encompass several types of activities, such as reroutes, reconstruction, new trail construction, active decommission, and road-to-trail conversions.

The workshop, the first in a series, is an open invitation to neighbors of the preserves, environmentalists, cyclists, hikers, equestrians – anyone who enjoys the six Southern Marin open space preserves managed by the County government. One major goal of the workshop is to seek reaction to maps depicting Marin County Parks’ proposed designations for the Region 1 preserves. Also, staff will review procedures developed since the RTMP’s adoption that will allow members of the public to formulate and submit proposals for specific road and trail projects, consistent with policies, standards, and best management practices established in the RTMP.

“We hosted 16 public meetings and workshops during the course of the plan’s formation,” Parks Director Linda Dahl said. “All sides were heard and the plan adopted represents those voices. Now it’s time to get busy fixing the system of trails.”

Somers said following the March 22 workshop for the Region 1 lands in Marin’s southern areas, the process will be duplicated for the County’s five other regions or planning units. The next regional workshop is tentatively planned for later this year. 


Carl Somers
Chief of Planning and Acquisition
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2820
Email: Carl Somers
Marin County Parks website