RESTORE TRAIL ACCESS AT LAKE OROVILLE
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The incident at the Oroville Dam spillways in February, 2017 has resulted in a loss of access to the majority of the recreation trails available prior to the spillways incident at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. Because of the loss of these recreation trails, we are requesting access, restoration, and improvement to the following Lake Oroville hiking, equestrian, and bicycle trails, prior to the 2019-2020 reopening timeline for restoration and/or re-routing that DWR has put forth.
Recreation areas include:
BIDWELL CANYON AND LOAFER CREEK
POTTERS RAVINE TRAIL SYSTEM, THE NORTH FORK TRAIL, AND THE NORTH SIDE OF THE DIVERSION POOL
SOUTH SIDE OF THE DIVERSION POOL
THERMALITO FOREBAY AND AFTERBAY
The details of the requests are summarized in the following outline. We would be happy to discuss the detailed implementation of our suggestions. We have included an approximation of the recreational trail mileage gained for each of our requests.
BIDWELL CANYON AND LOAFER CREEK:
1A. Relax the trail use restrictions to those identified in the 2006 FERC re-licensing document. (7.5 (+-) miles of trail.)
FERC document is available for review at:
1B. Reassign the trail on right hand side of road (as you enter Loafer Creek Recreation Area from highway 162) from a pedestrian-only trail a multi-use trail. (0.6 (+-) miles of trail.)
1C. Design and build a new multi-use Shoreline Trail, following the 910’-1000’ elevation contour from the beginning of the Bidwell Canyon Trail (near the intake screen complex) to Kelly Ridge Point. Alternatively, a trailhead could be built from the visitor center area, with the new trail ending at Kelly Ridge Point. (2.0 (+-) miles of trail.)
1D. Reopen the Bidwell Canyon Trail and Dan Beebe Trail from the visitor center to within 200 yards of the construction area near the dam. Better yet, just reopen the trails (with appropriate signage and fencing) down to the Canyon Drive/ Oro Dam East intersection. (1.5 (+-) miles of trail.)
POTTERS RAVINE AND THE NORTH SIDE OF THE DIVERSION POOL:
2A. Create a primitive trailhead parking area on Oregon Gulch Road where PG&E parcel # 041-290-120 touches Oregon Gulch Road. Then build a short spur trail over to the Potters Ravine Trail. Construct a double fence trail corridor similar to the Brad Freeman Trail crossing south of Cherokee Road. We propose that DWR purchase parcels (#041-290-058, #041-290-064, and #041-290-065) to open up more recreational access, away from the emergency spillway construction area. With little effort, dozens of miles of trails that are now mostly unused will again be accessible. (Provides access to North Fork and Potters trails- 5.5(+-) miles of trail.)
2B. Create a new trail from Vinton Gulch car top boat ramp to Bloomer boat in campground. This new trail would connect to the existing North Fork Trail (9.0 (+-) miles of trail.)
2C. Create a new official Brad Freeman trail on the hillside above the Burma Road (within the state owned property boundary), which has features that make use of the varied topography of the area. (7.5 (+-) miles of trail.)
2D. While the lake level is at its current level and below, use the exposed service road on the lake side of the dam as a temporary access route to the Spillway Recreation Area, skirting around the Kiewit construction area at the 850’ – 900’ elevation. (Provides access to North Fork and Potters trails- 5.5 (+-) miles of trail.)
SOUTH SIDE OF THE DIVERSION POOL:
3A. Reopen the Dan Beebe Trail from the Canyon Drive/ Oro Dam East intersection to the Palermo Canal. Use the canal access road to temporarily avoid ongoing construction work along the historic Dan Beebe trail route. Cut a new trail outside the road closure checkpoint on PG&E land just east of Oro Dam East and Rusty Dusty Lane. Reconnect with the Dan Beebe Trail at the creek crossing above Glen Pond. Open or remove the gate at the base of Sycamore Hill. (6.0 (+-) miles of trail.)
3B. Create a new official Brad Freeman Trail that parallels the Dan Beebe Trail on the south side of the Diversion Pool but avoids the section near the Hyatt Power Plant. (6.0 (+-) miles of trail.) (We are aware that this request is already being implemented, but are unsure of the details of the new route.)
3C. Improve the trail under Washington Ave/Table Mtn Blvd bridge to prevent hazardous crossings for pedestrians, equestrians, and cyclists at the nearby roundabout. This final Brad Freeman Trail tie-in was proposed years ago, but never completed. (Safer access for all user groups.)
3D. Design and build the proposed bicycle demonstration trail near the Lakeland trailhead, as outlined in the 2006 FERC relicensing document.(Unknown additional trail miles.)
THERMALITO FOREBAY AND AFTERBAY:
4A. Perform ongoing Puncture Vine (Goathead) thorn eradication on the Brad Freeman Trail from Cherokee Road to the Forebay, then around the Forebay and Afterbay. The pervasive population of noxious Puncture Vine (Goathead) thorns cause flat tires which make bicycle riding next to impossible in this area. (Result: a more rideable trail, that allows the completion of a large loop around the Thermalito complex and Oroville Wildlife Area.)
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