JAMESTOWN, Calif. (KTXL) – Atop the hills in Tuolumne County sits Table Mountain overlooking New Melones Lake.
The popular trailhead brings hundreds of visitors each year, but neighbors say with that comes ongoing parking problems.
“They don’t seem to pay no attention to our signs we have,” said resident Arlene Moyle, who has lived on Shell Road for 55 years. “I have a sign on the gate that says don’t block the driveway and they parked there anyway, even with the cones there.”
She says the issue has gotten worse the last five years as the trail has become a tourist destination.
“I can’t blame these people. They’re, most of the people I’ve met have been very nice people, they’re family people. People come here and they want to walk their dogs, there is no place to park,” Moyle said.
On a busy weekend she says there can be as many as 60 cars lining the single-lane road before the gate to the trail.
“Please don’t park in front of my gate,” Moyle said.
The problem is the trail is surrounded by private property.
Neighbors like Joan Stampfl say they don’t mind visitors, but the parking situation needs to get under control.
“People come from out of town, they’re driving two and a half, three hours to get here, not realizing that there is no parking,” Stampfl said.
Both women say it’s not just a nuisance, it’s a safety hazard for visitors and neighbors if a fire sparks.
“Last week there was a fella that got hurt up on the mountain, and they couldn’t get firetruck down there, as somebody parked right in front of the cattle gate in front of the gate, and the firetruck had to shove the car out of the way,” Moyle explained.
“Right now, everything’s green, it’s beautiful, the wildflowers are happening, in another month with no rain, everything’s going to dry up,” Stampfl said. “And this is only one lane and there’s no other escape and here. If we wanted to get out of our driveway sometimes we wouldn’t even be able to get out and we probably couldn’t, We’d probably have to leave our horses behind.”
Neighbors say they want the county or the Bureau of Reclamation to take control.
“They either gotta move it, the trailhead, over to Peoria Flat where there already is a parking area, or they need to put some kind of parking down the road further,” Moyle said.
FOX40 reached out to the county for comment but they did not return our requests for an interview.