Parts of Bishop Peak to close next week

Hiking on Bishop Peak will close next week for treatment of invasive plants.
Hiking on Bishop Peak will close next week for treatment of invasive plants.

If you were hoping to hike Bishop Peak next week, you may not have access to the trail you planned on.

The popular hiking spot will close from May 15 to 18 while the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo gets rid of wooly distaff thistle, an invasive plant that is crowding out native plant species, according to the city Parks and Recreation Department. Workers will use herbicide to control the thistle, the parks department said, adding that the chemical isn’t deadly to people or animals but is “a known toxin.”

Most of the work will affect the pond near the Highland Drive trailhead, the parks department said, as well as the Highland Drive trailhead, the Bishop Peak Trail and the Patricia Drive and Felsman Loop trailheads, the department said.

“We’re not restricting access, we’re just closing little sections for safety,” said Doug Carscaden, the ranger services supervisor for the parks and recreation department. “You’ll have access to everything, you just might have to walk a little bit of a different route than you planned.”

Carscaden added that authorities will either cordon off the affected trails or have rangers there to direct people to another trail.

There also could be trail closures for several days after workers finish treatment, so hikers might face detours until May 22.

And in case you’re thinking about sneaking onto a closed portion anyway, don’t try it. The parks department will have rangers posted to enforce those closures, and fines for trespassing could reach up to $561.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

Clarification: An earlier version of the headline was not clear that portions of trails on Bishop Peak would remain open.