P-12 Trails in Palmdale in trouble?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CBone, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Went to ride yesterday and was greeted with a locked gate.
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    For those of you who have not ridden P-12 let me give you a little background. Several years ago an ambitious developer was busy putting in infrastructure, utilities, grading lots and paving roads. The homes would have views for miles and would be unique for our area.
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    As I understand it, when the financial crisis hit his lenders called his loan. Unable to pay, he lost the property and it has sat as is since. There were rumblings in the past couple of years that a new owner was ready to move forward and the city approved. Not much has happened yet in the way of real work but the gate, in my experience, has not been locked before.

    I ran into a couple of my friends on my ride last night. They rode up to the gate just as someone was opening it to drive through. He let them in but told them the owner wants it locked all the time.

    This is an interesting situation because the city has a nature trail that starts right there and it is used by runners, dog walkers, riders, equestrians and riders. The high school right next door uses the area for cross country training and races.

    There are other ways to get to the trails but this is the main way with lots of safe parking and is the most convenient for the majority of the users.

    I would say that the mountain biking community makes up the majority of the users, especially in the winter. They also build the most of the trails. the trails are well built and have not caused erosion even with heavy rains this past winter. Trails were rerouted when one land owner voiced his concern about trespassing.

    The nature trail has benches spaced out along the way. They have a rather large roof/cover to provide shade to the users. They have not been maintained in years. One was vandalized and the roof was destroyed. A couple of our local riders bought wood and fixed it up on their own with no help from the city.

    There has been a lot of trash dumping in the area and couple of months ago a group organized a clean up. They coordinated a clean up project with the city. The riders hauled the junk down to a main road and the city came along later and hauled it away. From what I understand there were a few pick up truck loads hauled down to the road.

    We are hopeful that we will be able to use the area in the future. The mountain biking community has shown it cares about the area and have shared the trails with all users. It is going to get complicated because the land is owned by several different groups - private land owners ,the developer, the city, the state (aqueduct).

    The number of riders has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. Almost without exception these are good people who are solid members of the community. It would be a shame for them to not have access to the area.

    There is abundant wildlife in the area. On my ride last night I saw quail, jack rabbits, cottontails, squirrels, a roadrunner and tons of lizards. In the past I have seen rattlesnakes, king snakes and coyotes. Friends have seen bobcats and horned toads. Ride at night and you will have to dodge all the kangaroo rats that dart across the trail. It is really a pleasure to get away from urban sprawl and enjoy nature. With a couple of hundred thousand people just down the hill it is not really remote. The only thing that makes it remote is the fact that it takes some effort to climb the hills.

    Here's to hoping we don't end up with one trail 20 ft. wide completely sanitized and all fenced off with nice split rail fencing.

    If you have read this far, thanks for indulging me and allowing me to vent. I guess I am practicing for letters I might have to write.

    Rant over.
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  2. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Sounds like the developer is not opposed to trail users continuing to use the trails on their property. That is a great sign. If their development plans have been approved they should be public record, you could go to the city or county and look at them. Compare the location of existing trails to the development footprint to see how it affects them. It could be possible to work with the developer to re-route them and make them official (incorporate into their plans), or if you are lucky maybe trails will not be affected much.

    We were able to work with a major developer down here in San Diego. There are ~20 miles of trails on their property, and after working with them they have allowed us to help design a trail network. They recognize that trails will be an attractive feature for the community. They also recognize that if they work with us, they are less likely to have mountain bikers as an opponent who will fight against the development's approval. They are also supportive of a 4 ft trail width standard for part of the trail network. Part will be wider on trails in flat areas closest to homes. Developers don't necessarily want to build the 12ft wide split rail lined abominations we often see - often, it is the city that requires them to build it that way. Wider trails are much more expensive to build. The biggest problem is the consultants hired to do the design are almost never trail users, so they will just design whatever they are told to design. If you approach the developer and let them know the trails are important to the community it is possible that could be what the consultants are told to incorporate.

    Best of luck. If you or other locals can't step up, maybe a group like Corba could help.
     
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  3. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    Check SqueakyWheel FB page. Enter thru P-8 for now. Property is being put up for sale and a re-pave of the aqueduct road is part of the deal.
    Some of the trails are "grandfathered in", FWIW.
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  4. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    I checked the Facebook pages for both Squeaky and Block (I think most of the trail builders are from Block but the guys from Squeaky use the trails more) and found nothing about the closure. Now I'm not a Facebook guy so I may be missing something. I checked Palmdale's city website and found nothing at all about building permits or development plans in the Joshua Ranch area. I talked to a couple friends who say the area has changed owners frequently and sometimes the new owner puts a lock on the gate. I'm going to Squeaky this week so I'll talk to Bobby and see if he knows more.

    I don't think there's much cause for alarm yet. I'm no land developer expert but I think it would take a massive investment just to prep the area for more construction and I don't see the Palmdale economy being good enough for that! In the meantime there are still lots of access points (I like Godde Hill Rd. and the aqueduct myself) and no armed guards on the property so enjoy! I'll send you a pm with my phone# since there aren't many Antelope Valley people on this site. Thanks for the post and I'll be glad to help save these trails if it comes to that.
     
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  5. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    I looked at the Squeaky page too and didn't see anything. I'm not a member of the group so maybe that is the problem.

    Maybe I shouldn't have posted this yet because you are right about no changes yet other than the lock.

    We used to ride from 60th but then you have to climb The Grunt" to get to the trails :). Actually, we kind of gravitated to P-12 because it was a good place for groups to meet up. More and better parking in that area also.
     
  6. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    Mikie, Cyclotourist and CBone like this.
  7. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    Yes that is a grunt but it gets you to the great trails at the west end quicker!

    Thanks for the link scottay! So they're gonna pave that road from Elizabeth Lake Rd by the burnt house! That'll make the climbing easier! Good that the trails are grandfathered in. Most of the best trails are far from the existing homesites and don't seem to be on terrain that could become homesites.
     
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  8. Dirtrider

    Dirtrider Newbie with Hope!

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Pivot 429T
    Bumping this old thread for any updated info. Any riding here or is it all fenced off or new homes?
    Might be working in this area and looking for somewhere to ride.
     
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  9. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    They are a long way from building any houses. Lots of work putting in water lines and sewer in trenches. Also some work on improving and adding to drainage. All of this work is along the road. No trails have been harmed. I've seen no work on the lots themselves. The main impact that I have seen is during work hours when riders have been chased off by the construction crew. I understand this as there are liability issues. There are ways to ride around the construction and get to the good stuff.
    Come on up and ride @Dirtrider !
     
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    November Night Ranger Rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays P12 Cul De Sac 4:45 meet time. :thumbsup:

    "Where's Tucker?" :whistling:
     
  11. MrGreedom

    MrGreedom Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Ryan
    Current Bike:
    BH Lynx6
    Just got an invite for a Baby Shower in Palmdale 12/1/18. I will go just so I have an excuse to ride P-12.
     
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Yeah.... I like the way you think. :coffee:

    Could you have them move the Baby Shower to a Tuesday or Thursday? That would work out better for me so we can ride together....:whistling: Thank you! :thumbsup:
     
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