County of Marin - News Releases - Hunt Camp Trail Settlement

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2018

Parks Announces Settlement on Trail Project

Agreement with environmental groups sets course forward on Hunt Camp Trail

San Rafael, CA – Marin County Parks is enhancing fire roads and trails throughout its system of Open Space District preserves to minimize environmental impacts, improve visitor safety and emergency access, and provide recreation. A settlement resolving a lawsuit over one trail project includes taking a two-year break on new trail designations in the Gary Giacomini Preserve while work continues in the other 33 preserves across the county.

A photo of the Hunt Camp Trial in the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve.Hunt Camp Trail in the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve.
Planned improvements to the Hunt Camp Trail within the Giacomini Preserve will be limited, removing project components associated with the lower-elevation segment of the trail under the new agreement.

The entire trail, originally an old hunting trail, has existed for more than 100 years as an unofficial “social” trail. Parks’ Hunt Camp Trail project was designed in 2017 to reduce the environmental impacts of the trail system while improving visitor safety and enhancing opportunities for recreation, restoring other nearby trails and adding it to the County’s signed and maintained system.

Parks personnel and a team of volunteers rerouted some of the steepest portions of the upper-elevation trial segment in summer 2017, improving the trail sustainability while maintaining its primitive rocky character. It was officially opened and signed.

The Marin Audubon Society, the Marin Conservation League and the California Native Plant Society filed a legal complaint August 10, 2017, against the Open Space District in regard to the Hunt Camp Trail project. As the result of the settlement reached this month, Parks has rescinded planned improvements to lower-elevations parts of Hunt Camp Trail and the Manzanita Fire Road Connector Trail, and it has confirmed that there are no other projects that will add a designated trail in the Gary Giacomini Preserve for the next two years.

Settlement documents have been finalized and the Open Space District agreed to pay $17,000 in attorney fees.

According to trail usage data, the Hunt Camp Trail has only had an average of eight trail uses per day since it was designated as part of the road and trail system.

“We’re really pleased with the successes in our first three years of improvements and we look forward to continuing road and trail projects in other preserves,” said Parks Senior Resources Planner Jon Campo. “We’ve had great collaboration with the cycling, environmental and equestrian communities, resulting in more buy-in and better-received projects.”

Campo said projects included in each year’s Road and Trail Management Plan address the fact that many trails maintained by the County were not formally planned or sustainably designed as part of a public access system. Most of the roads and trails were originally built to be logging and ranch roads, utility access, and informal trails created from repeated use.


Max Korten
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 342-5914
Email: Max Korten