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Update on Access to Monrovia's Hillside Wilderness Preserve

The new gate, shown here, has been temporarily removed.

I noticed the other day that the almost-new gate at the Ridgeside trailhead to the city's Hillside Wilderness Preserve, which you can see above, has been removed. This struck me as odd because it was only installed around early January of this year. The old gate, which you can see below, is now back in use, but can be swung open far enough to admit bikers and hikers, but not enough to admit cars or trucks.

In a meeting with City Manager Oliver Chi and Director of Community Services Tina Cherry, Cherry said the new gate was removed because it was crowding the space trucks need to turn around. She said a new-new gate will be installed after working out the best location for it with adjacent landowners and after redesigning it to force cyclists to slow down before they enter the narrow residential road. Also, she said, the "Road Closed" sign you see posted on the old gate has either been removed already or will be removed shortly. The road isn't closed, it's open.

Another factor, she said, is that while the city has an easement for the trail, the easement - apparently due to faulty surveying ages ago - is for a brief distance actually located alongside the road, just to the right of the road as you see it in the above pictures, over essentially impassable ground. That also needs to be resolved.

Chi said the issues with the Ridgeside trailhead should be resolved within a few months.

Cherry said homeowners at other end of the trail - which exits onto Coverleaf Drive but passes over private property which is currently blocked by a locked gate - have been working with city appraisers. She said the appraisers have completed their appraisals and the city is now ready to meet with the homeowners in an effort to come to an agreement that will open the Cloverleaf gate.

Chi said that while there may have been disagreements with those property owners in the past, "at least we're talking to one another." He added, "We need to resolve this today so people can enjoy it." Cherry added that, "We have the resources to have it done."

And if that is all a bit confusing, here's a map:

- Brad Haugaard


  1. A large number of Monrovia residence are disconnected, for many reasons, from the open back country concept for that land. As for me ... I would to leave it closed but protected and TOTALLY undeveloped. That was why I agree with the purchase and is the reason I don't complain when I see that assessment on my homeowners tax bill year after year.

  2. I also don't complain when I see my tax bill and would like it OPENED, protected and undeveloped. That's what we voted for almost 2 decades ago. Thanks Brad for keeping on top of it..

    1. Thanks. I'll try to check in on the project every once in a while.