I am the organizer of the Central Coast Hiking Group, 1,100 members strong. I’ve led more than 250 hikes on the Central Coast on over 40 different trails. Over the past three years, we’ve had a regular event at Ontario Ridge attended by 10 to 20 people each month.
Ontario Ridge is one of the most popular hikes on the Central Coast, a 90-minute hike featuring some of the best views in the area. It also has easy access, excellent parking, good trails and interface with the marine environment. For these reasons, it is one of my favorite hikes on the Central Coast. It is one of our “Hiking Jewels.”
Is there an issue of safety? I agree this hike has some risks, but less so than most other hikes. I rate Ontario Ridge mild from a risk standpoint, and intermediate from a challenge standpoint. It’s neither as challenging nor as risky as Bishop Peak. Our members bring their children on this hike. I’ve never had anyone injured on any hike I’ve led, let alone on Ontario Ridge.
The rights of the public to use this true “Hiking Jewel” should not be held hostage.