Here’s a story (littered with little errors only a copy editor like yours truly would notice) about the San Francisco Bay Trail, one of a couple of ambitious trail projects designed to circle the whole Bay Area. Another one called the Bay Area Ridge Trail has sections I’ve hiked a bunch of times.
Both of these trails have huge gaps in the middle of them, but they represent and idea that could prove useful to those of you who wish there were more trails nearby: you’ll never get trails till you ask for them, and when you get them, you have to build them, take care of them and get people to hike on them. And fight to keep local governments looking after them.
Trails like these tend to exist because one person woke up one morning and said “I wish there were a trail there,” and decided to get busy making it happen. So if you want more trails, skip a trip to REI and start getting bureaucrats on the phone and finding out what needs to be done. It can happen, but somebody’s gotta step up. You’ll die gray and lonely waiting for somebody else to do it for you.
Speaking of fighting for trails, here’s a story about a lawsuit in southern California in which a housing developer promised to build trails in open space around a new subdivision. Local outdoorspeople dragged the developer into court to get the promise enforced.