Briones Pilot Project

Briones Pilot Project


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Briones Pilot Project

What is the Briones Pilot Project?

The Briones Pilot Project is a two-year pilot project intended to test a variety of trail management strategies. The pilot project is limited to a portion of Briones Regional Park in the northeast corner of the park. See Project Map. The pilot project was launched on Friday April 21, 2023.

The Briones Pilot Project establishes specific rules limiting trail use within the Pilot Project Zone and for two trail segments adjacent to the Pilot Project Zone, such as hiking only, biking only, or biking/hiking only and direction of travel. On weekends, trail use within the Pilot Project Zone will alternate days between bicycle and equestrian use based on even and odd calendar dates (see table). A key component of the Project is the restoration of illegally built “bootleg” trails to protect natural habitat for wildlife.

Why a Pilot Project?

Over the last decade, the number of visitors to District parks has increased significantly. The rise in numbers of visitors getting out onto trails has increased the potential for conflict between different types of trail users. Although the Park District is seeking to open new parks and provide more trails to reduce crowding on trails, the trail development process takes time. The pilot project will test some new ways to safely share trails and improve the trail experience for all users while protecting habitat, wildlife, and watersheds.

Project Objectives:

  • Protect Resources, Habitat, Wildlife, and Watersheds: The expansion of illegal bootleg trails is a significant issue for Briones and other East Bay regional parks. These user-built trails are often not built to sustainable trail standards with appropriate drainage and avoidance of sensitive natural habitats. Illegal trails can have negative impacts on wildlife and watersheds. The project will include a robust monitoring and patrol program to document and prevent the expansion of bootleg trails in the pilot project zone.
  • Restore Natural Habitat by Closing Illegal Bootleg Trails in the Pilot Project Zone: A primary objective of the project is to engage with the trail user community to join park staff in restoring natural habitats already impacted by illegal bootleg trails.
  • Enhance the Trail User Experience: The trail management strategies being tested during the two-year pilot project are intended to allow users to safely enjoy trails by providing specific days when certain user types are limited to create more space on trails.
  • Increase Volunteer Engagement in Trail Maintenance and Habitat Restoration: Community volunteers play an important role in helping park staff monitor and maintain park trails. The pilot project provides volunteer opportunities for trail users to join in trail maintenance and habitat restoration activities. Sign up for Dig Days.

Briones Pilot Project Zone MapThis map is also available in Avenza: Apple App Store  / Android App Store  |  Get a Map with Avenza  |  How it Works  |  Learn More About Avenza
Download Briones Pilot Project Map. Your device GPS will show your real-time location on the map, even while offline. 

What do I need to know?

The following special rules apply ONLY to trails within the pilot zone

Pilot Zone Schedule & Restrictions

Briones Pilot Project ODD/EVEN Weekend Days

  1. Monday-Friday everyone will be allowed to use designated trails within the pilot project zone. Note that for your safety, Trails (B1 - B4), marked yellow on the map, are for bikers (downhill direction of travel) ONLY.
  2. On EVEN-numbered weekend days, horses will be allowed to use trails open to equestrian use within the pilot project zone.
  3. On ODD-numbered weekend days, bikes will be allowed to use all trails open to bike use within the pilot project zone.
  4. Specific trails in the pilot zone will be designated for bike use ONLY and will be limited to a downhill direction of travel ONLY. These trails will be signed as such at both the top entry point and the bottom exit. These trails are recommended for expert riders only and are not regularly maintained by park staff. On EVEN numbered weekend days, bikes are prohibited from using any trails including bike-only trails.

Pilot Zone Bypass

Bikes and equestrians wishing to access the rest of the park during restricted weekend days can still use the Alhambra Creek staging area to access Tavan Trail,  Orchard Trail and Toyon Canyon Trail to bypass the pilot project zone instead of having to go all the way to the Bear Creek entrance. See FAQs below for more information.

Trail Closures:

Trails marked for closure and restoration will be appropriately signed and monitored for compliance and these closures will be strictly enforced. The restoration of these closed trails is a critical objective of the project and is important to the protection and maintenance of wildlife habitat areas in the park.

Trail Use Data:

As part of this pilot project, the District is collecting information on trail use.
For example:

  • What are the numbers of each trail user type using the trails in the pilot zone?
  • When are users on the trails?
  • Are there certain days or times when trail use is lower or higher than other times?

Having accurate data can help park staff prioritize trail maintenance activities and can help trail planners understand trail demand by user type. This information can also help trail users decide when and where to go to optimize their trail experience and avoid conflict.



Briones Pilot Project DIG DAYS!
Volunteer to improve select trails and restore habitat
Sign up here.

Alhambra Creek Staging Area
2537 Reliez Valley Road, Martinez, CA

9am to 2pm

  • Sunday, June 11 (sign-ups FULL)
  • Sunday, July 9 (spaces available)
  • Sunday, August 13 (sign-up coming soon)
  • Saturday, September 9
  • Sunday, October 15


Past Event
Informational Meeting & Open House
Saturday, February 25, 2023, 10am-noon
Alhambra Creek Staging Area

Event Flyer (PDF)
Follow Up to February 25, 2023, Information Meeting & Open House


If you have any questions that are not covered above, please contact


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