Trail 704 Trailhead

Horsethief Park trailhead

If you want to hike to the very popular Pancake Rocks or Horsethief Falls, you'll want to do it soon. Real soon.

Social media and my email lit up over the weekend with news that a portion of U.S. Forest Service Trail #704, commonly known as the Horsethief Park Trail, will be "permanently blocked off by July 15, 2021," according to a posted sign.

According to the notification, presumably erected by a private property owner, the section of trail crosses private property. While "the landowner has allowed access for a very long time," attempts by the landowner to trade this section with the United States Forest Service for another parcel had been unsuccessful. Therefore, the owners intend to permanently block the section of trail beginning July 15, and any further crossing "will be considered trespassing." 

Trail 704 closure sign

Notice on Horsethief Park trail

I hiked the trail Monday and saw that there is orange fencing on both sides of the trail, presumably marking property boundaries. If the property owner follows through, the trail will be blocked about a half mile from the trailhead.

Trail 704 Disputed Section

Trail 704 where it allegedly crosses private land. The orange fencing presumably denotes the property line. The owner is threatening to block the trail on July 15.

The most remarkable thing is how small the disputed section is — only about 20 feet of trail.

Attempts to get more information from the U.S. Forest Service regarding this land dispute were unsuccessful at the time of this writing. Stay tuned...

Be Good. Do Good Things. Carpe Diem.

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