The City of Sonora and the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, in partnership with the Department of Public Health, are anticipating the expansion of the current Dragoon Gulch Trail by creating a master plan that will guide development of the recently purchased 65 acre expansion. This project will build on the existing and very successful 2.5 mile trail network. A community participation process including initial input, development of alternatives, and selection of a preferred alternative, will occur during the next three months.
Development may include additional natural surface trails, and short sections of paved multi-use trails (for cycling and pedestrian use) extending the current trail network to a total of approximately 10 miles. This length would place approximately .1 mile of trail per acre, allowing the majority of the 100 acre park to remain relatively untouched. This length would also create a destination experience that may draw walkers, hikers, and mountain bikers from the local region.
Setbacks from existing residences, seasonal waterways, and historical or natural resources will be identified. The Master Plan will also include connections to and from adjacent neighborhoods and destinations such as Sonora High School, so that the project provides routes to schools, and connections to downtown. Planning for functional use and recreational use will benefit residents by making walking and bicycling a practical alternative to cars for short trips, and support the City's "Get Up, Get Going, Get Healthy Sonora" program.
To accommodate additional use, parking expansion in the range of 20-50 stalls as well as other amenities may be included in the Master Plan. If supported by the community, an opportunity to provide additional park and recreation uses is available. An existing single family residence and barn may ultimately be converted for public restrooms and an outdoor gathering/picnic area. This location could be a gathering and staging area for groups of runners, walkers, hikers, nature lovers, bird-watchers, and cyclists.
Dragoon Gulch Trail Master Plan goes Environmental...
Dragoon Gulch continues to get the investment it needs to build out the recently created Master Trail Plan. The toughest hurdle to get over in any planning process is environmental analysis. The City of Sonora has partnered with the Transportation Council to fund the needed environmental analysis to get the next 8 miles of trail and supporting facilities built. This process is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2014.
Having the planning and environmental completed makes this project construction ready. Sonora has the perfect funding source to build the Dragoon Gulch trail system, Californias� Active Transportation Program. This program is funded to the tune of 360 million dollars for bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide. Highway maintenance and road construction are not eligible for these funds, they are meant for projects just like Dragoon Gulch!
Of course we are extremely optimistic about our chances to receive funding through this program. We will likely know in June or July if we have been selected for funding. Check back in with the Trails page and Dragoon Gulch page for updates!