Allow mountain bikes at Loch Raven

November 01, 2011

Bicyclists have been riding at Loch Raven Reservoir for more than 20 years while the water quality at the reservoir has consistently improved. Although the existing trails used by hikers, fishermen, cyclists and equestrians do not conform to the outdated "approved" trail system, they have evolved without detriment to the water quality. The cycling community is asking for a comprehensive review of the trail system in order produce a state-of-the art, sustainable trail system that can accommodate all.

My organization, MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), has an established record of successful partnerships throughout the region with forward thinking land management agencies. A partnership between Baltimore and Loch Raven trail users would provide the city a current, industry-leading assessment of the facility, a cooperatively developed sustainable trail system, a dedicated group of trail stewards and thousands of hours of donated maintenance each year.

Is it too much to ask the city to take a progressive and proven approach to maintaining this natural resource for the health and well-being of its citizens? Surrounding states, counties and municipalities have embraced the cycling community and the substantial resources that they bring to the table. The Mid-Atlantic cycling community stands ready to advance the Loch Raven Reservoir to current best practices in land and resource management.

David Ferraro

The writer is vice president of Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts.

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