HALT has just opened up all of its trails to bicycling! Recognizing that mountain bikers are very responsible trail users, considerate of hikers, runners, dog walkers and equestrians, the Trust feels that this increased use of its trails will be a benefit to everyone. Mountain biking can actually help trails by keeping down the undergrowth that would otherwise require maintenance, and bikers often help to remove obstacles like fallen branches that keeps the trails clear for other users.
The trailhead signs that now say “No bicycling” will be slowly updated over the coming weeks. Please be assured that in the meantime you are free to enjoy the trails on your bike. Be aware that the trails have not been design specifically for bikes: many may be too narrow or inappropriate for mountain biking. Many of the bridges may not accommodate bikes very well. There are no bike-only trails, and bikes must yield to all other trail users. We trust that mountain bikers can judge for themselves where it is safe for them to go.
There is one important thing to watch out for: some of our trails abut properties that do not allow bicycles. For example, the Sands and Betty Fitzpatrick Trails run into SVT’s Saddle Hill area which prohibits bicycling.
We are hopeful that this policy can remain in place indefinitely, but we recognize that there are areas where excessive use by bicycles is not sustainable. Over time, if we detect that a trail or the environment around it is being damaged, we may prohibit bikes on that trail. Also there may be seasonal closures on some trails that pass through wet areas. Finally, because some of our trails are near residences, we may close trails if the neighbors complain. Closed trails will be posted.