Rangers Urge: Follow Leash & Bike Rules at Bidwell Park

Bidwell Park welcomes pedestrians, pets and bicyclists, but they all need to find a way to share the road - and respect one another.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 3:44 AM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 3:45 AM

Chico, Calif.-- The shady trails that run along the creek in lower Bidwell Park are the perfect place to walk you dog in the Summer heat.

But, according to Chico City Park Rangers, fewer people are following the rules.

This has probably happened to all of us: You're out for a walk and a happy dog - off leash - comes bounding up to you.

A lot of people wouldn't mind, but it can be startling because even the sweetest animals are unpredictable, and there are some people who are not comfortable with dogs on the loose.

That's why there are some strict leash laws at the park - and they change at different times of the day.

From 5:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m., dogs actually can be off-leash.

But City Park Ranger James LeDonne says he's frequently stopping owners to remind them to leash their dogs at peak visitation hours.

"Not all dogs like each other and owners need to honor that, and I think that owners need ot clean up after their dogs if it's in a space where people walk." said Penny Terstegge, park visitor.

"Keeping them on a leash but also within a distance of your body too, a lot of people use a leash but it's out 10 - 15 feet and that can be havoc also," said dog owner Jon Nickerson.

If your dog just loves to run, go up to the north side of Upper Park Road, that's an off-leash zone.

But, be sure that your dog is under voice control - it's not just smart, it's a park rule.

Lastly, if your pup like to swim, it has to be at home - dogs are not allowed in the water at One-Mile or Five-Mile, or Upper Park swimming holes.

A sunny Summer day may be great incentive to hop on your bike and get out to the parks, but remember, a bicycle is a vehicle, and law enforcement says they're seeing an increase in bike traffic violations in Chico City parks.

The park rules include that bicyclists yield to people on foot, and to horses too.

"Most people will say, 'on your left' when they're behind you but others will sneak up behind you and they can take you out! said resident & park visitor Jon Nickerson.

"You have to be extra cautious- you have people walking, the cars, the dogs, you have to watch where you're going and what you're doing," said Emma Schambach, Chico bicyclist & park volunteer.

Even if you're not a kid, you're supposed to be wearing a helmet in Upper Park.

There are a few places that you can't ride - one is Caper Acres, and the other is the deck along the edge of Sycamore Pool.

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