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Happy Trails: RSF Committee finishes work on Covenant trail map

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Lisa Bartlett and Barbara Kruer riding one of Rancho Santa Fe’s trails.
(Karen Billing)

One of Rancho Santa Fe’s most enviable amenities is its trail system, an exclusive collection of paths through the community with everything from golf course views to peaceful and rural forested areas. The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Trails and Recreation committee recently completed the arduous task of completing a comprehensive trail map for the community, approved by the RSF Association board at its Sept. 7 meeting.

According to Trails and Recreation Chair Daniel Bunn, the last time the map was updated was nearly 12 years ago. The process has taken nearly five years with an exhaustive check of every easement in the 60-mile system.

The efforts were led by committee members Barbara Kruer and Lisa Bartlett, who has been riding the Ranch’s trails since she was 16 years old, when there were no fences and few houses — just miles of open space and fruit tree groves. The duo pored over maps as well as hit the trails on horseback, developing ideas for potential upgrades and further encroachment permits.

Committee member Rochelle Putnam was enlisted to “bring the project home” and at the Sept. 7 meeting, she thanked the numerous committee members who worked on the effort over many years.

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“Rancho Santa Fe has 60 miles of trails cobbled together with a number of different types of easements,” Putnam said.

The different types of trails in the Covenant include: Association-owned “hub” trails like those around the golf course; permanent easement trails that have been obtained by the Association since the 1950s; encroachment permits, those mostly along the county-owned roadside where the Covenant has requested to maintain the trails; revocable easement trails that have been dedicated by owners but can be rescinded by a subsequent property owner; and trails in use, which means they aren’t permanent or revocable easements but have “graciously” been made available to users by homeowners.

Putnam said the committee members’ task was to check all of the various easement documents, confirming that the trail was accurate on the map and in some cases making adjustments to the actual trail if it was inaccurate. Throughout the process, the committee was also able to secure new encroachment permits from property owners for trails on Calzada del Bozque, Zumaque and El Montevideo and Via de Fortuna.

A trail in the village area.
A trail in the village area.

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The updated trail map will be distributed to Association members and posted online.

“This is a phenomenal job,” said RSF Association President Fred Wasserman. “I think Association members can be very appreciative of your efforts.”

Rancho Santa Fe Association’s private trail system is for use by Association members and their guests only. The trails are for horseback riding and pedestrians only, bicycles are not permitted. Pedestrian use is limited to walkers and runners in groups no larger than four and pedestrians with pets on a leash. As always, horses have the right of way.

The Trails and Recreation Committee hosts a monthly guided trail walk for members and their guests. Walks are designed for all ages and last about an hour with appetizers and drinks following at the RSF Golf Club. To sign up to receive monthly updates on trail walks, email RSFA@RSFAssociation.org or call (858) 756-1174.


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