H-CAMBRIA

Jan 25, 2013 9:26 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Popular Cambria walking trail closed off to the public

For as long as some Cambrians can remember, they've been able to walk through one of the last Monterey pine forests on a trail they call Hansel and Gretel.

The land is west of Bridge Street and runs parallel to downtown Cambria. Three months ago a barbed wire fence was put up around the land and public access to the property was shut down.

The land is protected under an agreement with a conservation group. The Nature Conservancy said the agreement means no buildings can be built in the pine forest.

KSBY spoke to a local who's been walking the woods since 1988 and encountered the fence for the first time Friday.

"It's beautiful way to get away from the urban environment because suddenly you are in the forest. Just birds and the sound of the wind through the trees," said Frederick Fox, who lives close to the forest.

A few months ago CAL FIRE created a fire break along the outskirts of the property and all around Cambria. Shortly after the trees were cut down, neighbors said the fence was put up, but they are not sure why. KSBY made phone calls to Ralph Covell, the owner of Covell Ranch, to find out why the fence was put up, but he was not reached.

KSBY spoke with some of Covell's family friends who said the reason for closing off the land was because of liability.

We will continue to update this story.

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