The BRP Section 3.6: Conservation, Open Space and Recreation concept lays out the following Fort Ord trails network planning guiding principles:
- Provide a trail system with adequate connections to non-motorized transportation alternatives to all neighborhoods in the former Fort Ord;
- Use the trail system to reinforce the redevelopment planning strategy of using recreation and open space assets to make the former Fort Ord attractive to potential users by interconnecting and increasing access to those assets;
- Reserve adequate Right of Way along planned transportation corridors to accommodate planned trails in addition to the entire planned road cross section; and
- The Fort Ord trails system can be considered as an integral part of a larger regional trails network which includes, but is not limited to: the Toro Regional Park trails; existing and proposed Carmel Valley trails; and, the existing Highway 68 corridor (used as a bike route). Link Fort Ord trails to regional bike/pedestrian trails wherever possible.
Two categories of Major and Minor trails are described in the BRP, which are analogous to the Arterial vs. Collector classification of roads. In general, Major trails have a more regional function, connecting foot and non-motorized traffic to destinations outside of the former Fort Ord, or completing critical higher volume linkages within the former Fort Ord. In most cases these are located within the rights-of-way planned for major transportation arterials. Minor trails perform a less critical role, distributing and collecting traffic to and from neighborhoods along lower-volume routes.
Major & Minor Trails
Major trails have a minimum width of 12 feet and be surfaced in asphalt, concrete, or other paving alternative with comparable performance; wood plank surface permitted on causeways or boardwalks. The three BRP Major-trail alignments are:
- Intergarrison Trail: Connects Fort Ord Dunes State Beach to the CSUMB campus, the former landfill area, the BLM lands through Marina’s community park, and the East Garrison by means of the 8th Street Bridge, 8th Street, and Intergarrison Road.
- Fort Ord Dunes State Beach Trail: This trail would consist of lane striping within the travelway of the proposed Beach Range Road connecting the cities of Marina and Seaside through the back dune area.
- Salinas Valley /Seaside Trail: This trail is intended to serve as a major north/south hiker/biker trail through the former Fort Ord. It is located predominantly within planned transportation rights-of-way, although an option exists along the Seaside/former Fort Ord boundary to locate the bike trail within an existing power transmission line corridor.
Four BRP Minor trails alignments with a minimum trail 10 foot pavement width include:
- Monterey Road Trail: A minor hiker/biker trail following Monterey Road from the vicinity of Fremont Boulevard through the planned residential district, then crossing General Jim Moore Boulevard into the POM Annex.
- Main Garrison Trail: A second minor trail connects the proposed visitor’s center and the Intergarrison Trail at 8th Street through the Town Center Planning Area to the Monterey Road Trail.
- Crescent Avenue Trail: This trail connects Marina to the Intergarrison Trail and the CSUMB campus along Crescent Avenue and the Marina Village Community Park.
- Reservation Road Trail: This trail connects the East Garrison to the City of Marina. It is located entirely within the right-of-way of Reservation Road.
In addition to the hiker/biker trails, the BRP envisioned several centers of equestrian activity on the former Fort Ord which, as one of the last active cavalry posts in the U.S. Army, is well suited to equestrian uses. A primary concern of trail planning at the former Fort Ord is to connect various equestrian-related activities, building a synergy which will increase their attractiveness and usefulness. Two equestrian trails are designated outside of the BLM lands. These trails appear as a dashed black line in the Recreation and Open Space Framework Plan.
- Intergarrison Equestrian Trail: This trail will connect the regional equestrian center planned for the former landfill area with the BLM trail system, with a trailhead staging area and related parking planned for the Marina community park adjacent to Intergarrison Road.
- Eucalyptus Road Trail: This trail parallels the northern boundary of the BLM lands. It is located within the future Eucalyptus Road Residential Community, where it forms a dual function as both a recreation trail and a firebreak between the residential area and the native coastal shrub areas. The trail will have a dirt, sand, or other comparable alternative surface at least twenty feet wide including tread and physical elements such as trees/shrubs.
Draft Trails Concept
The 2012 BRP Reassessment Report highlighted trails planning as an outstanding cross-jurisdictional obligation. Coordinated regional trails planning was identified as a potential regional economic driver during the FORA Colloquium (2013) and became the focus of a subsequent FORA Trails Symposium (2015). Following this activity the Post-Reassessment Advisory Committee (PRAC) requested FORA staff coordinate with local jurisdictions and regional interest groups to produce a Draft Trails Concept that built on BRP direction, and incorporated the most current development and trails concepts. The Fort Ord Recreation Trail and Greenway (FORTAG.org), a citizen-led trails plan, provided a updated alignment as a contemporary planning reference point, which maximized interconnectivity, safety, rider experience, and economic development potential. A planners working group with jurisdiction representatives was convened and completed the Draft Trails Concept, which was received by the FORA Board in March 2016. The Draft Trails Concept is shown as an Opportunity in the RUDG Trails Location map (p. 83). Planning, funding and implementation now sit with the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC), in partnership with local jurisdictions and interest groups.