The Santa Maria Valley Open Space mission is to establish public trails in a natural setting for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding that will allow passive and spontaneous access and to serve the Santa Maria Valley and surrounding areas.
We are residents of the Santa Maria Valley that love to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and look for ways to bring trails to our area. We began in 2010 by advocating for a trail system on Orcutt Hill. In 2011 we attained non-profit status and with generous financial donations from many people and countless hours donated by our Board and supporters, we now have a wonderful trail system.
-Passive access means that trails are open to the general public and that membership to a club or organization is not required for their use.
-Spontaneous access means that the trail is accessible 7 days a week, from at least sunup to sun down (and preferably 24-7-365), and do not require reservations, permits, or approvals prior to use by the general public.
-The trail system should provide for multi-use which include hiking, running, cycling, equestrian and dogs.
-Dogs are free to use all trails when accompanied by their owner, either on a leash or within the voice control of their master. Dog owners are responsible for picking up and packing out their dog’s poo, and to leash dogs as a courtesy when encountering other trail users that may be uncomfortable with dog or when passing in narrow sections of the trail.
-Natural settings are those areas that are open and away from buildings, roads and the built environment, and provide opportunities for trail users to experience quiet, seclusion, and observe nature.
-Public access and free access for all and interactions with nature are an integral and vital part of a healthy community. The community should commit to creating public access to open spaces where members of the community can actively enjoy the beautiful hills, meadows, fields and wild life that surround the Santa Maria Valley.
-User or trail head parking fees preclude spontaneous access and deter use. Trail funding for easements, construction and maintenance should be obtained from other sources and likely necessitate volunteer work crews and donations to create a successful trail system.
-Those who use public trails are the primary stewards of those trails, and have an obligation to assist with time and resources to maintain them.
-Trails are to be used for non-motorized (electric, gas or otherwise) access, with provision for non-motorized bicycles.
-We accept nationally recognized “Leave-no-trace” principals: pack out whatever you pack in; when encountering trash left by others, pick it up and pack it out; be courteous in your outdoor manners and respect others; be considerate and minimize and avoid impacts to the natural environmental and resources to whatever extent is reasonably possible; respect wild life; hike on durable surfaces and minimize erosion.
-Always respect property rights and accompanying land uses (such as cattle, oil field operations, or neighboring residents and property).
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