Legal Settlement Opens Free Parking Near Los Padres Trailheads

Adventure Pass
Paul Wellman (file)

The United States Forest Service and four Southern California hikers, including Santa Barbara’s Rich Fragosa and Ojai’s Alasdair Coyne, have settled their legal battle over access fees on forest lands, opening up free parking near trailheads in the Los Padres, Angeles, Cleveland, and San Bernardino national forests. The hikers’ lawsuit argued that the public ought to be able to park near a trailhead without having to purchase the federal agency’s Adventure Pass, a parking day-pass designed to generate maintenance income for developed campgrounds and picnic areas. With the settlement comes free parking near dozens of trailheads, including Los Padres’ Piedra Blanca, off Highway 33. “This is a win ​— ​guaranteed free public access to the middle of the Sespe,” said Coyne.


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