Dog owners now have one fewer place to take their pets in the Ashland parks system, which already bans canine companions in most parks.

Dog owners now have one fewer place to take their pets in the Ashland parks system, which already bans canine companions in most parks.

The Ashland Parks Commission voted 4-1 this week to close a trail to dogs in North Mountain Park that previously had been open to pets on a leash.

The hilltop trail on the south edge of the park provides a shortcut between North Mountain Avenue and Village Square Drive.

Painted dog prints on the trail that marked it as dog-friendly will be painted over, and signs that say the trail is open to dogs will be changed.

North Mountain Park Nature Center Stewardship Coordinator Linda Chesney said the trail and the signs caused confusion for dog owners. Some seemed to think that all of North Mountain Park, which is home to wildlife areas, ball fields and a playground, was open to dogs.

People who walked their dogs on leashes throughout the park didn't pose a big problem, but some owners would slip their leashes off their pets once they got out of sight of Nature Center staff, Chesney said.

Those dogs caused trouble in the park's wildlife habitat areas, she said.

The Ashland parks system does have the dog park, where canines are allowed to play without their leashes. The two-acre, fenced park is off West Nevada Street.

The Bear Creek Greenway, a paved path that runs from Ashland to Central Point, runs near the dog park and is open to dogs.

Dogs are allowed in the Ashland park system's Siskiyou Mountain Park and the Oredson-Todd Woods. The areas are wooded and have plentiful trails.

People also can walk their dogs in Ashland's hills along a Talent Irrigation District canal.

To view a map of dog-friendly areas, visit www.ashland.or.us/Files/DogFriendly.pdf.

— Ashland Daily Tidings