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Trail Use Designation Pilot Project

Trail project sign at trailhead


OC Parks in 2021 engaged in a Trail Use Designation Pilot Project that we hope will improve user experience and alleviate trail user conflict and congestion. The project involved temporarily changing existing trail use designations on select trails at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Santiago Oaks Regional Park and evaluating information collected before and during the designation changes. The Pilot Project started in Spring 2021 and was periodically evaluated to assess trail and user data resulting from the trail use changes. Researchers were onsite at the Pilot Project trails in May, June and August 2021 to collect user feedback for use in a scientific survey. As of December 1, 2021, trails modified during the OC Parks Trail Use Designation Pilot Project returned to their previous use designations. Researchers compiled Pilot Project data into a final report for evaluation, which was distributed at the September 29, 2022 Trails Subcommittee meeting. Based on discussion of the final report, the Trails Subcommittee members determined at the December 12, 2022 Trails Subcommittee meeting that trail use designations can serve as a viable tool for OC Parks to consider in trail management decisions. Researchers followed the final report with an addendum analyzing the affects of the project on ecological resource conditions. The addendum was distributed for review in advance of the November 9, 2023 Trails Subcommittee meeting and the project has been completed. 

The Pilot Project has been shared at OC Parks advisory body public meetings and supported by the OC Parks Commission, Trails Subcommittee and Coastal Greenbelt Authority.  

Project Documents:

Pilot Project Trail Maps:

Please visit the  Trails Subcommittee webpage for past and future meeting information and instructions on how to publicly participate in Trails Subcommittee meetings. General trails comments can be sent to: