The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Pismo Preserve Trail Temporarily Closes and SLOHS Hiking Club gets it


  The Land Conservancy’s Pismo Preserve closed its trails Monday, March 23 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have no plan to reopen soon.

.San Luis Obispo High School student hikers were disappointed by the closure, but understand the reasoning behind it. 

  “Due to the design of the trails, constraints of the parking lot and restrooms, and the numbers of visitors we have seen in the last few days, the Pismo Preserve does not provide adequate opportunity for social distancing,” said the Land Conservancy in a Facebook post, explaining their decision to close the trail.

  Expressions interviewed the three officers of SLOHS hiking club, Hike Everywhere Respect Earth (HERE), to hear their perspective on the closure.

 Secretary of HERE and senior Thea Ragsdale understands and agrees with the Land Conservancy’s decision to close the trails. 

  “The benefit of this action is that there will be less contact and interaction between people, which will reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The trails themselves are pretty narrow, which really doesn’t allow for social distancing,” said Ragsdale.

Vice president of HERE Alexi Steinmaus hiked the preserve on the last day it was open. 

  “There were a lot of people there. I think people were social distancing— they were all with their families. I think that hiking is a pretty safe activity. It’s really sad that it got closed down because it’s a really pretty place and it’s good to have people be active. But there were a lot of signs asking people to walk counterclockwise and there were some problems with that; there’s too many trails that intersect each other and people would often be walking in the opposite direction as us,” said Steinmaus.

  The HERE officers aren’t enthused with the decision to close the preserve, although they understand the rationale behind it. 

  “I am devastated. We just ran it a week ago, and now it’s closed. I understand why the trails are closing, and it’s for a good cause, but I feel like being outdoors is so beneficial for humans that making them stay inside all day will have negative effects on [mental] health during this time of crisis,” said senior president of HERE Ellie Treichler.

  Nevertheless, some good might come out of the closures. 

  “In the meantime, our team is still working on important restoration and conservation work throughout the county. We will continue to update you on exciting new conservation on the horizon,” said the Land Conservancy. 

  HERE agreed with the potential for further restoration while the trails are closed. 

  “On the bright side, trail maintenance will go up,” said Treichler. 

  Staying off the trails of the Preserve may be difficult for the next few weeks, but perhaps Treichler is right— when Pismo Preserve reopens, the trails may be better than ever.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Expressions Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *