By LEWIS DELAVAN
Staff writer

Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association trails committee reviewed its trail plans at the July meeting last Tuesday.
Key priorities include developing a mountain bike singletrack trail and completion of the Hernando-Herradura-Balboa trail re-route. The latter is important. “It’s a major safety issue,” said recreation department director Stacy Hoover. “It needs to be done.”
Committee member Paul Barnard agreed, along with others. “If it’s a safety issue, I think that ought to be moved to the top,” he said. The committee recommends the trail connection cross DeSoto Boulevard east of the Ponce de Leon Road intersection. It was the third of four options presented earlier this year by the public works committee.
A key part of the proposed crossing is reducing the site’s speed limit to 35 miles to per hour, in line with federal traffic safety standards.
The public works committee had recommended the fourth option, crossing under the Goosepond Road overpass, but among concerns of trails volunteers were available space under the overpass for the multi-purpose trail, which must be wide enough for golf carts. The favored option would also keep the trail well away from a public road.
The mountain biking trail will be relatively low-cost to develop, but does require approval by the architectural control committee, recreation department director Stacy Hoover said. The ACC considers trail materials, aesthetics and long-term maintenance.
Chair Laurie Hartshorn stressed the need for the singletrack. “We still don’t have a real mountain biking trail,” she said.
While bicycles can use other Village trails, mountain bikers often favor unpaved singletrack.
On the long-term list, other trails proposed for adding to the system include the DeSoto Pro Shop trail, an existing golf course trail which could allow connections to other existing trails.
Others include the proposed Cooper-Saline Vista trail, Lake Coronado Dam, Cortez Highlands, Pineda Dam, Cooper-Scenic Mountain, Cedar Mountain North and the Coronado Fitness Center-RV loop.
Maintenance priorities for the budget request include maintenance for a 40-foot bridge on Cedar Creek Trail, and rebuilding a shorter DeSoto Nature Trail bridge. The Cedar Creek bridge was originally built with a gift from Hot Springs Village Audubon, she said.
Also, Hoover discussed trail guidelines created around 2003 by Frederick County, Maryland. Hoover said public utilities director Jason Temple has volunteered to work with trails volunteers to recommend trails-building guidelines. Janet Rowe volunteered to work on the project.
The Frederick County guidelines offer suggestions for trails volunteers. Barnard volunteered to work with Charlie Brown on proposed guidelines for service by Friends of HSV Trails.
The publication can be viewed at https://www.frederickcountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/327. The committee will meet at 1:30 p.m.  Aug. 21 in Coronado Community Center.