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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Trail Use and Tool Use in California State Parks

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has filed the Final Text and Final Statement of Reasons concerning trail use designations and minimum tool use review in natural and cultural preserves with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).  They are currently being reviewed by the OAL.  They have 30 days to complete their review.  If approved by OAL they will be filed with the Secretary of State. The proposed regulations are summarized below:

Trail Use
This rulemaking action clarifies and makes specific the authority for regulating trail uses and users on trails in the State Park System. 

  Current trail use regulations are inconsistent. 

  The new regulations clarify that all trails are open to pedestrians and closed to all other uses unless designated open to the additional use.  

  There will not be a change in the current trail use designations as a result of these regulations being adopted.

  Any changes to any current trail use designation will be decided by the District Superintendent after careful analysis and public input. 

Tool Use in Natural and Cultural Preserves
The new regulations also provide direction for establishing what tools may be used, and under what circumstances, in Cultural Preserves and Natural Preserves. 

  Clarifies that permanent structures and installations are allowed in wilderness and preserves where necessary for natural or cultural heritage protection.

  Identifies a review process for determining the appropriate tool/equipment required to perform necessary natural or cultural resource stewardship to maintain the integrity of the establishment of the preserve.

We believe the proposed regulations will provide clarity to rules for trail use, minimum tool use in preserves and permanent structures in preserves and wilderness while protecting important resources and providing for public use and enjoyment.

If you have questions, please contact the Statewide Roads and Trails Program by emailing