|Unauthorized bike trail at Hope Lake in red|
1. The Shelton Lakes Greenway is a conservation area where we strive for a balance of passive recreation and public access while reserving some areas where wildlife can live and breed undisturbed. The passage of each hiker and bicyclist does disturb wildlife and this can be enough of a disturbance to sensitive species to reduce their breeding success rate.
2. The trail system is confusing enough for hikers without additional trails for people to get lost on.
3. Most people don't enjoy hiking a trail system where the trails are practically on top of each other and you can see and hear people nearby on another trail. Bikers are looking for technically challenging tracks. Hikers are looking for a peaceful walk through the forest where they can experience nature. The system at Shelton Lakes is designed for hiking and wildlife, not for mountain bikes. That said, bypass trails have been created in a few locations to help mountain bikers around obstacles such as Eklund Garden and a very steep hill to the south of the garden.
As a general rule, if a trail is not shown on our trail map, it's not supposed to be there, and bikes are prohibited. Our Open Space Ordinance #833 specifies that: "Mountain bikes or other non-motorized vehicles may be used on designated City Open Space trails only, and at no time may mountain bikes be used off said trails." The fine is $250. For people creating new trails, the ordinance reads, "No person shall destroy, injure, herd, harvest or disturb any form of wildlife, plant life, or its habitat on any City Open Space area excluding state permitted fishing." These unauthorized trails do disturb wildlife habitat.
And here's the second trail:
|Unauthorized trail in red, located off of J. Dominick Drive|
If you are a mountain biker and have a need for a specific trail modification, please do it legally through the proper channel, meaning the Shelton Trails Committee. Better yet, become one of our volunteers who works with the Committee. This committee has been around for about twenty years and for all that time we haven't had a single mountain biker become a member. Decisions are made by those who show up :)