For decades we have been running, hiking, and walking through the upper areas of Coal Hill and the Ironmask Hills. With the purchase of the lands by the owners of the new mine, there are now some new fences. There are also some new mountain bike trails, new signage, gates, a kiosk and new vigilance for access to the area. It used to be an area that we quietly visited and we would never seen anyone, but now there is a lot more activity and defined/designated areas, including no trespassing signs. Signage is currently being installed indicating seasonal closures (cattle grazing), mine property (no trespassing), and designated bike trails (not really hiking trails). Hikers, runners, and walkers are somewhat left out of this solution, even though they can still access the bike trails and the old double tracks. On our most recent hike, we took a wrong turn (unsigned) and encountered scrutiny and criticism on a route we have used for decades. We will need to adjust our routes and schedules for the future. Nevertheless it is a fine area to hike (while we can).
“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.” (John Muir)