Most of the trail time this year has been spent exploring potential new trails and pouring over trail laws and regulations. Here we go…
Big push right now is a long term trail network that connects all of the Big Bear Valley. This plan will utilize existing system trails, essential non-system trails, and necessary new connecting trails to provide access to the forest from both established trail heads as well as residential areas of the Big Bear Valley.
With assistance from the USFS, we have a solid map of the entire Big Bear area that marks out just about every trail and road already out there, whether it is an official “system” trail or a rough path that leaves from a neighborhood. Starting with this map of existing routes, our goal is to identify the needs of the people, balance this with the limited resources of the government, and then match it all with sustaining the environment to get a practical trail network.
First draft of the Big Bear Trail Network has almost 95 miles of suggested additions to the USFS system. The amazing thing is that 80 of these miles are already on the ground in some form, from an actively used neighborhood trail to an old road. There is a lot involved with this, and it begins with understanding the LAWS that we have to wade through. Learn more here: www.trailsfoundation.org/trail-laws .
For now, realize that this is just conceptual and a working draft. As we progress much will change based upon feedback from users like you. You can see the first draft of this system here: www.trailsfoundation.org/trailplan.
Online Trail Map
We managed to get a non-profit price from the GIS mapmaker ESRI, so we’ve used this powerful program to make an online map for locals and visitors alike to use. Here’s what it can do:
- Show you trail locations and difficulty ratings.
- Let you report trail conditions as you see them. Fallen tree? Trail damage? Tell us!
- Give you news about trails and areas. Closures, USFS plans for the area, and more.
- Tell you when events like races or work days are happening on the trails.
- Pinpoint your location on your phone – the mobile app is designed by ESRI, and so far it works pretty well.
Give it a look at www.trailsfoundation.org/map .
Adopt A Trail Groups
If we want an officially larger trail network in Big Bear, we have to show that we can help maintain it. Of course, it would be nice if our taxes paid for everything, but the reality is that the USFS is pretty limited in their budget. Starting this spring and summmer, we’re going to be approaching groups of all shapes and sizes to get them to Adopt A Trail. Groups can show their support by contributing A) Money or B) Time, and in return would receive a good amount of positive recognition.
Focused Trail Work Days will be scheduled with these Adopt A Trail groups, allowing them the opportunity to give back to the trails in Big Bear. Our job will be to organize them, and along with the USFS, focus their efforts and skills on the trail. Start thinking of good groups, both locally and off the mountain that could help.
- Big Bear Cycling Open House: April 14th, 6pm. Upstairs of Nottingham’s in Big Bear Lake, CA. The Trails Foundation will be there with information on the Trail Network Plan, ready to answer your questions.
- Open Air Big Bear Open House: April 22nd, 6pm. Upstairs of Nottingham’s in Big Bear Lake, CA. We’ll be here as well to share information and answer questions about future trails in Big Bear.
- Trail Work on Siberia Creek: May 16th. Big trails, big views, big commitment. This will be a full day of hiking down to our work area, opening up trail, having lunch, and then making our way back.
- Trail Work on National Trails Day: June 6th. We’ll be working with the Southern California Mountains Foundation to host a Trail Work Day on the South Shore network.
- Trail Work during the Big Bear Cycling Festival: July 29th, 2015. With bike races on the weekend before and after, this midweek day will be focused on local trail maintenance and hopefully a new build on the trail called Fall Line.
- Trail Work on Siberia Creek: August 22nd. We’ll head back down this beautiful trail and keep working at opening it up for general use.
- Trail Work Evening Pick Up Days: as requested and needed, we’ll schedule several evening work days as the summer progresses.
For more information about Trail Work Days, go here.
Right now we are a 100% volunteer driven organization. We can spend our limited time on A) Fundraising or B) Getting Things Done. Choice B is Better.
The more you voluntarily donate, without us having to worry about heavy marketing pushes, the more we can focus on getting on things like trail maintenance and new trail systems.
Make it simple and donate to us ONCE EVERY YEAR. Do it now right here: http://trailsfoundation.org/howtosupportus/
Stay In Touch
Even if you don’t use it for yourself, please follow the updates on our Facebook page, as this is our primary method of quickly letting you know what’s going on with Big Bear Trails. This website has all of the more static, involved and substantial information that Facebook can only hint at.
Questions? Want to Get More Involved?
Please let us know if you have questions or suggestions. We always need help, but remember that volunteering pays you back with karma and good friends. Grab us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the trails!
Chair for 2015, Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation.