Hundreds of cyclists gathered Saturday to protest what they consider controversial trail closures at Mission Trails Regional Park.
More than 400 people gathered at Mission Trails Regional Park Saturday to protest the closure of some of the park's trails.
The group says several trails have been closed in recent months to protect sensitive species.
Park officials closed several popular trails in an area north of Mission Trails Regional Park known as "East Elliot."
Rangers said the unauthorized trails were illegally constructed north of State Route 52.
“We are not closing trails since the city has never officially opened and/or authorized the trails,” officials posted on the park’s website.
Organizers say closing the trails used by mountain bikers would also have a negative impact on the other trails used by hikers.
"Well, you see all those riders behind me that ride these trails and you're displacing those riders. You're gonna draw them into the main area of the park," Doug Johnson said.
Part of the park's master plan does call for new trails in a certain portion of the East Elliot area in the future rangers say.
However, to restore damage done by the unauthorized trails, the park needs to close the area to mountain bikers and runners.
Protesters claim there are plans to close more trails in the future.
A group spokesman says there will be at the park's visitors’ center to discuss the issue at 7 p.m. next Wednesday night.