Abandon–Not Augment–State Riding Trail

A group of desert boosters went before the Board of Supervisors recently, favoring a new trail on the desert side of the San Bernardino mountains. Located in remote country, it would run from the California Riding and Hiking Trail at Coon Creek Jump-Off to Pioneertown.

The project was opposed be a landowner in the Coon Creek vicinity who doesn’t want public trails running across his private section.

Any proposal to augment the California Riding and Hiking Trail with laterals should be viewed with skepticism by Supervisors–and by all other taxing bodies. This expensive trail never should have been built. Now it should be recognized as a bit of folly that should be written off as a quick loss.

The trail is very little used because it is located in such remote country. It does not go between natural, one-day stopping points. Wherever it goes, it goes around Robin Hood’s barn to get there.

Why this impractical trail was ever built is a long story but two reasons can be stated: (1) The state Legislature was sold on the fallacious idea that a Mexico-to-Oregon trail would be popular. The fact is that in these high pressure times no one indulges in horseback riding for more than a few days at a stretch and the State Trail is not suited for such usage. (2) The trail was built without right of eminent domain and must make extremely wide detours to avoid private property. This forces it to go into country that few people have any desire to visit.

The supervisors should not be unduly impressed be delegations wearing riding boots, Stetson hats and talking big. Before any more public dollars go toward that ill conceived trail, let’s find out who is going to use it.

Jan. 3, 1957 - Redlands Daily Facts article clipping