Damage to trails hurts community

“It’s been going on for a couple of months, and we haven’t been able to completely understand the motive for it,” said Ryan Smith, head of the River Valley Mountain Bike Association and co-owner of Marietta Adventure Company, in discussing vandalism that has plagued local trails lately.

Certainly, there is no understanding people who would do that kind of damage, but Smith is right:

“Whoever is doing it definitely does not have the interests of public safety in mind. The trails we maintain are developing into a world-class mountain biking and trail destination in general, and we won’t tolerate this.”

Downed trees and branches dragged across trails, graffiti obscuring signs, fires set, even fishing line strung across trails and logs and boards with nails placed in the path of users. It boggles the mind to think of the kinds of people who would do such things, knowing the danger they are creating. It is a shame officials have had to warn users of the Moon Trail, Plum Trail and the Ray Lang Trail.

For the most part, these trails are maintained by volunteers. Local folks give of themselves to make our trails both a draw for outdoors enthusiasts and a safe place for kids to walk to school. And someone is working against that good.

Someone else knows who, of course, and should pass along that information to authorities as quickly as possible. This is more than a harmless prank, and must be stopped (and the perpetrators punished) immediately.