Should cyclists be allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail?
It was legal until 1988
Here's a discussion - "The Forbidden Trail," that was posted on ORBike NEWS by ayleen on Thursday, November 1, 2012 · 2 Comments
mt biking woods cropped
The Pacific Crest Trail is an official American National Scenic Trail that zigzags its way from Mexico to Canada. Located within easy driving distance of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle, the PCT is both easily accessible and blissfully wild at the same time – making it a popular trail for hikers in the Pacific Northwest. Like the Appalachian Trail, people often hike major stretches of the trail for days or months.
Mt. bikers were allowed access to the trail until, in 1988, the US Forest Service restricted access without public involvement or an appeals process. Kraig “Brock” Brockelman with the Southern Willamette Valley mt. bike club Disciples of Dirt says the decision was made quickly without an opportunity for mt. bikers to explain their side of the situation. There has been no concerted effort to reverse the decision, until now.
The Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative is working to share information with the US Forest Services that could reverse that decision. Since 2010, a growing number people from the cycling and trails communities have been working with US Forest Service to potentially allow bicyclists access to portions of the PCT that are outside federally designated Wilderness areas (where separate rules disallow bicycles). As early as 2013, the USFS will begin taking comments from the public about this effort.
In Oregon, the effort is being led by Disciples of Dirt. The issue is particularly important to them not only because it is an area where they would like to ride, but also because mt. bikers are well known for being good trail stewards, maintaining the land where they ride. “As is well documented. we take care of where we play,” Brock says.
Downhill Dan says:
November 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm
I’m all for opening some areas but we must fear the slippery slope! Even though I am an avid mountain biker I know we cannot erode the protections placed on our wilderness areas. Wilderness is wild! Leave it at that, and keep the bikes in roaded areas.
Mtn Man Ron says:
November 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm
Hrrrmmmmm….. I am on the fence about this issue. We mountain bike riders are good stewards, but what about the people who are not?
I am undecided about this, but I look forward to following the conversation. I had not heard about this, thanks for the article (saw it in the newsletter);
I feel that the wilderness experience would be altered by the presence of mountain bikes on the PCT - plus it would be a tough challenge to mitigate any adverse impacts. - Ken