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Homeowners not happy when hiking apps make trails more popular




A view from the hiking trails in Rancho Palos Verdes, as seen on Modern Hiker's website.
A view from the hiking trails in Rancho Palos Verdes, as seen on Modern Hiker's website.
Modern Hiker

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Want to go for a hike? Put away that map and paper guide: You can just take out your phone!

But some residents in Rancho Palos Verdes say online guides, GPS and social media have made trails near them so popular that it's become a problem.

At a city council meeting last week, residents complained about slamming car doors early in the morning and trash scattered on the road side. As a result, the council voted to cut back on parking nearby as a way to discourage more hikers from coming.

Casey Schreiner, founder of Modern Hiker (which has its own guide to the trail in Rancho Palos Verdes), says fights like these aren't limited to Rancho Palos Verdes.

"In Turnbull Canyon in Whittier it's particularly terrible," he says. The trailhead only has a handful of parking spots. Most hikers then have to park about a mile away.

"On a whole, L.A. is finally realizing that you need to have public space and access to public space," Shreiner adds. "Most other places that have developed trailheads put in the resources that are needed to maintain those trails, keep them clean and to have enough parking at the trailheads."

Southern California is "park poor" he says, and online resources like Modern Hiker can help make public trails more accessible.

However, these frustrations will continue to grow as more hikers take to the outdoors, and nearby homeowners realize that they didn't bank on increasing crowds out their doors.