GRIFFITH PARK—The city of Los Angeles will soon block visitors from using the popular hiking path to the Hollywood sign after a continuing battle among residents of Beachwood Canyon, city officials indicated on Tuesday, March 14.
According to Director of Public Information, Rose Watson for the Department of Recreation and Parks, hikers and pedestrians will be redirected away from Beachwood Canyon to Canyon Drive and other access points to reach the trails in Griffith Park.
The plan has divided Beachwood Canyon residents including Sarajane Schwartz who informed the Los Angeles Times that hikers were clogging residential streets and creating safety hazards.
Casey Schreiner, author of “Day Hiking Los Angeles” and editor in chief of the website Modern Hiker, told the LA Times, “This was one of the easiest and shortest routes to get to the Hollywood Sign.”
The issue became public on Monday, March 13, as part of a court battle over access to the Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables on Beachwood Drive. The stables provide horseback rides in Griffith Park.
The ranch had a long legal agreement allowing people to come and go through a 20-foot-wide strip of land. Ranch owners sued, complaining that the city had started directing hikers onto its “exclusive easement road,” which interfered with the ranch’s ability to do business.
According to reports, in February, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge found that the hikers could not be stopped from using the easement and redirected thousands of pedestrians toward the ranch every month.
The city agreed to direct pedestrians away from the Beachwood gate to comply with the court ruling, the Los Angeles Times reported. The change will occur “sometime in the next few weeks as we put in place the enforcement to redirect and to effectively serve tourists, hikers and residents,” said Watson.