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New trail in the works in Friday Harbor | Hiking

The San Juan Island Trails Committee is working with town officials on a plan to develop and maintain an unopened, forested town road as a trail.

On the maps, the trail is formally labeled Beach Court, and leads from Harbor Avenue to Jensen Alley, jogging around the Rouleau Apartments.

Beach Court has never been opened as a road by the town, but neighbors and proponents say it has long been used as a trail. Thursday, the Trails Committee sought the Town Council’s formal permission to develop and maintain Beach Court as a trail.

Neighbors said they support trails, but expressed concern that the trail would encourage trespassing onto their properties. Joan Castaneda said trail users have walked onto her property to take pictures of the harbor below.

With the trail formally developed, “I foresee a lot more activity,” she said.

Council members Carrie Lacher and Carrie Brooks expressed concern about encouraging trespassing, and about the town’s liability if someone is injured.

Councilman Chris Wolf, who is the town’s representative on the Trails Committee, said more use of the trail would make it safer “because neighbors will be walking through there, keeping an eye on what is going on.”

Brian Windrope of the Trails Committee supports the placement of directional signage, including signage advising users to stay on trails and off private property. “I would be more than happy to do that.”

David Dehlendorf of the Trails Committee said volunteers will help maintain the trail, and that proper signage would help reduce trespassing.

Town Administrator King Fitch was advised by the council to work with the Trails Committee to develop a suitable trail plan.

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