Honeybee Update 9/27/16

As of Friday, 9/23, there is bad news and good news about access to the Honeybee trail system.

First off, the bad news. As of October 1, access to State Trust land and the Honeybee trails via WAPA Trail 180 at Quiet Rain Lane will be closed by vote of the Honeybee Canyon Estates HOA. It is not a popular decision, nor is it the right or fair one, but the HOA has the legal right to restrict access.

Next, the good news. The MTB and trails communities have spoken, and the Town of Oro Valley and Pima County are listening. With huge turnouts at the last two Oro Valley Town Council meetings, and contact with a variety of elected officials, government staff, and the community at large, mountain bikers have made it clear how important the Honeybee trails are. While the Quiet Rain access point may be closed, temporarily or permanently, local trail users, Oro Valley, Pima County are working together to establish alternate access points as quickly as possible. Details will follow as they are available, hopefully by the end of next week. Your patience is appreciated.

In the meantime:

• PLEASE RESPECT THE CLOSURE. Again, the HOA has the legal right to restrict access, and the MTB community needs to show that we can follow the rules. Disregarding the closure will make working with Oro Valley and other stakeholders that much harder, and may jeopardize access to the trails (and preservation of the Honeybee trail system as a whole) in the future.

• GET YOUR STATE LAND DEPARTMENT PERMIT. The Honeybee trails are on State Trust land, which requires a relatively cheap yearly permit. While permit enforcement is rare, this is the only concrete way to show how many recreational users there are on State Trust lands, and to show that mountain bikers are a strong user group (make sure to check “Bicycling” as your primary use. Get your permit here:  https://land.az.gov/recreational-permit-portal

• USE ALTERNATE ACCESS POINTS. The only other “legitimate” access points to the Honeybee trails are via Rail X/Edwin Rd. in Catalina, or via Wild Burro trail from Dove Mountain. Be aware that Edwin Rd. is poorly maintained and high clearance/4WD is recommended. The trail crosses the road 2.6 miles West of Oracle Rd, and there is parking near the intersection. Check MTB Project or Trail Forks for maps.

• ACCESSING THE TRAILS VIA THE VISTA DE LA MONTANA METHODIST CHURCH: It has been reported that there is another access point at the Methodist Church on Oracle Rd. just South of Golder Ranch Rd. This is not an official access point, and SDMB can’t recommend that anyone uses wildcat trail to access State Trust land. However, the church has been contacted and are willing to let riders cross their land to get to the Honeybee trails. AT THE REQUEST OF THE CHURCH, PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON CHURCH PROPERTY, AND DO NOT INTERRUPT TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD IN TO THE CHURCH. If you choose to ride in through the church property, find alternate parking near Oracle and Golder Ranch.

• CONTINUE TO CONTACT THE ORO VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL, THE PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. Let them know that trail access (especially to the Honeybee trails) and mountain biking is important to you, especially if you are an Oro Valley resident. They are on our side on this issue, and Oro Valley was just recognized for their cycling infrastructure, so make sure to be polite and solution-focused!

 

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