Strawberry Creek has a little-known, informal trail, running from South Circle Drive near Four Corners on the north end, to a transmission line right-of-way on the south end. My property is adjacent to the creek and I enjoy using this trail regularly.

Periodically, I find that fallen trees along the trail have been cut up and hauled away. Recently someone was in the process of cutting a tree near my house.

Apparently, a trail user was offended by this and left a very nasty note for this “wood carver” as the writer referred to the individual.

The anonymous trail user that left the note referred to themselves as a “very hip local.” They implied that they had, apparently, left a motion activated “deer camera” to record this carver in the future.

Now, never mind the comical and somewhat disturbing vision of someone walking around town in a very hip manner, carrying a concealable deer camera, I realized that this informal trail is different things to different people. Perhaps organizing a more formal management plan for the trail might be a good idea.

I realize this trail runs through many different properties, so getting permissions and managing the trail may be an impossibility. But a formal trail running from South Circle near Four Corners, down to Idyllwild Arts would be a great benefit to locals and tourists alike.

It would be great if this trail were like an urban pathway, similar to one that is in Chico, along the creek that runs through that town. Property owners usually experience an increase in property values when their property is located along an urban pathway, so this may be just the incentive to create a more formal trail.

I don’t know if this is something the residents of Idyllwild are interested in, but maybe some sort of nonprofit organization could be created and be responsible for this trail’s management.

Perhaps “Friends of Strawberry Creek Trail” might be a good name.

I’m not political nor do I understand the machinations of government, so this is just an idea that I felt I would suggest that may be good for our town.

The trail is truly a jewel running through the center of Idyllwild. Perhaps the residents would like to improve upon this jewel.

Mike Isaac


  1. This would be a great idea except the creek is not open to the public all the way to Idyllwild Arts. The section of creek that runs through Camp Emerson is private and owned/managed by the camp.

    • Camp Emerson owns the water rights to Strawberry Creek where it flows through camp property. This info can be found and the registration of the water rights/access with the county and state. There are no federal regulations that supercede their water rights once it was established in the early part of the last century.

  2. Just an FYI concerning my previous post. This information is available to the public and can be verified by anyone by doing a little research. That's exactly how I know the information. Research was done, read and verified by the proper agency.

    • Never said anything about a "grandfather clause" but before you assume that the information provided is not true, look it up for yourself, then comment on it. At least that way you won't sound ignorant of information that, like I said, is available to the public.

  3. this does not apply to purely water. You convolute the issue with resources not in question. Water access is Federally protected, not access to fish & opinions posing as fact… ya sound like some politicians with a private agenda, affiliated with camp emerson much ?!? LOL

    • Your "opinion" does not change the facts. Creek access where it runs through Camp Emerson is prohibited unless permission is given by the ranger/camp manager. It is private property and INCLUDES the creek because of the registered water rights. This may or may not apply to other creek access on the hill. The private agenda the camp has is to keep control over who has access to the property to insure the safety of the children using the facilities. BTWLOLAYAH

  4. it has everything to with establishing community, or, Public Water usage…. see, jeff – your'e shadowboxing

    I am not promoting trail access in private areas, I am promoting the accurate interpretation of the law that establishes Fed superseding State. It was inaccurate of you and Pam to try and claim otherwise

    you've tried to cloud the issue with fish, navigable waters and some weird illusion about cruising through private property.

    bottom line hasn't changed from my 1st post – OUR water, not one bit of it is solely Camp Emerson's

    but feel free to argue with no one some more, jeffrey… it's fun to watch

  5. I did some research and it looks like it turns on whether the river is "navigable." Federal law trumps state law (the supremeacy clause in the Constitution). If it is navigable, public access to the high tide/water mark is guaranteed for certain puposes (recreation, fishing etc.) under FEderal LAw. And yes, Strawberry Creek does have a high water mark. DOesnt seem navigable (but definition includes even floatable at some points). But I did find this case which says a river is navigable if it was navigable at the time CA came into the Union…Bess v. County of Humbolt (App. 1 Dist. 1992) 5 Cal. Rptr. 2d 399, 3 Cal. App. 4th 1544). (Van Duzen River Case) The fact a river is navigable only seasonally does not require that river to be designated “non-navigable.” Under California State Law, if a river was susceptible to navigationat the time California came into the Union, a public right of way existed without regard to ownership of the stream bed.

    • Good luck using that info when the sheriff shows up! My hubby and son in law were almost arrested being in Strawberry Creek that they had walked down via the creek, not going through anyone's property. They were told, "You can leave voluntarily or you'll be arrested for trespass." Of course they left voluntarily. I think some people have the sheriff on speed dial. He told them they MUST have written permission with them in their wallet/pocket from the owners of the property. Didn't understand why because they didn't go through anyone's property. Regardless, they won't risk it again. Not worth the hassle.

      • That's a shame–a lot of what this is about is self-centeredness and fear. How the &^%$ does someone having access to the creek infringe on my rights as a property owner? I grew up in Idyllwild and walked the path along the creek all the time, it's a beautiful trail and should be made publicly accessible. We aren't a gated community up here, not yet, and I hope those who would like us to be are prevented from succeeding.