Trail Maintenance & Closures
Over seven miles of improved and unimproved trails weave in and out of Forest Park’s nature reserve system. Improved trails are those consisting of asphalt, gravel, or mulch, while unimproved trails are typically narrow foot paths created over time from persistent usage by Park visitors. While we encourage visitors to get out and explore our nature reserves, unimproved foot trails can become environmentally problematic or even structurally unstable, causing excessive soil erosion and native plant disturbance. In such cases, it is sometimes necessary to close off these trails in order to minimize these problems and allow the area to recover from overuse. Typically, when a trail is closed, the affected areas are revegetated with native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers, which help minimize additional soil erosion and stabilize the site. Occasionally, other approaches, such as installing check dams or water bars are used to help restore these areas, particularly where they occur on steep slopes and are much more predisposed to soil erosion.