By Karen Carlson
Mount Woodson Trail is set for a facelift beginning in the spring. Also known as the Fry-Koegel Trail, it is approximately 11 miles long and provides a vital connection to or from the city of Poway, depending on your direction of travel.
The Ramona side of the trail has been unusable for quite some time due to erosion, brush and poison oak overgrowth, but that is going to change.
On Feb. 7 at the County Trail Committee meeting, I was able to talk with county staff, Maryanne Vancio and Matt Bohen, and they confirmed the plans to move forward with the trail repairs at Mt. Woodson.
The trail was developer built when the housing went in years ago and I have been told that it was “with some degree of difficulty and resistance from the developer at that time.” With the Trails and Pathways Plan just becoming a reality for Ramona, details and expectations were at times unclear for trail building and expectations, and details misunderstood.
This particular trail was a tough one for trail advocates to get through at the time due to terrain. After some negotiation due to the inadequacy of the trail, the developer placed $40,000 in an account with the county for future use, I was told. Thankfully that happened, because after many years and many people involved in moving this project forward and getting the trail repair moving, county staff will be working with the California Conservation Corps and County Trails Crew to begin clean-up and retread efforts so it is again usable.
It also sounds like the small staging area on Archie Moore Trail may be in the plan for updating as well, although no details are available at this time.
The trail used to be quite rugged and a serious challenge in certain areas, but hopefully the CCC and county will be able to iron them out and make the terrain more user friendly.
We will have to see if they are able to create better angles and lessen the grade at which the trail drops/inclines over Mt. Woodson.
Signs will need to be placed along the way as most are missing or outdated but just think about being able to ride to Poway and back in the cooler months, picnicking along Lake Poway — Wow — a real dream-come-true for many of us.
Plans include horse access that will skirt the school as horses are not allowed on school grounds or nature trails, and the trail should connect with the (future) Rancho San Martin trail system as well as connect with the Ramona Grasslands. Using the Archie Moore pathway, trail users will be able to extend their ride or hike along this beautiful terrain. Even more impressive will be the connection with the (future) Santa Maria Creek Greenway that will then connect the San Dieguito River Park Trail system (Coast to Crest) and beyond!
This important link to our neighboring community will open non-motorized routes of travel and recreation and will add to the overall trail length, creating a great workout for many hikers and bicyclists.
Equestrians should be able to utilize the trail once more and Poway will become more connected with the Ramona Trail System and vice versa. Needless to say, I am very, very excited about this progress and will keep you updated as things move along.
Karen Carlson is a Ramona resident.