This post is to inform all of those interested that sections of the old “Secret Trail” alignment are being obliterated by the US Forest Service. This work is being done as part of the implementation of the Fort Valley Restoration Project. This project is responsible also for the miles of new trail constructed in lower Fort Valley, the new Upper Moto alignment, as well as several fuels and timber projects and assorted other activities in the Fort Valley area.
An important part of this project is the re-alignment of “Secret Trail” in an effort to protect Mexican Spotted Owl habitat. This is why the trail is being moved and the old trail is being closed. The section currently being obliterated is the section to the east of FS6273 road, between those marked “New ‘Secret’ alignment” and “New ‘Secret’ Alignment (formerly ‘Newham’)” on the map below. Closure of the section to the west of FS6273, through the “most sensitive area for Mexican Spotted Owls”, will follow shortly. All of this obliteration is taking place without the use of chain saws in order to minimize impacts to the Spotted Owls during the breeding season.
The majority of the re-alignment has been built or reconstructed and is ready for riding. There have been very few changes to the style of the trails adopted and the re-routes have been built with the character of the original trails in mind. The section marked “New connector” should be built within the next few months, and then new construction and maintenance of the western-most section of Secret Trail, from Upper Moto to the west and downhill to the rest of the Fort Valley Trails will proceed. (Not shown on the map.)
We are certainly aware that these actions are sure to generate a significant amount of disappointment amongst some members of the local mountain biking community. Some old trails that we love are changing. Bear in mind that we probably have the same concerns as you and have tried to negotiate the best solution possible from “within the system”. Things could be a lot worse; we could live in Marin County where most of the single-track is closed to bicycles.