WALNUT CREEK -- Don't worry hikers, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts, because Walnut Creek's open space will remain open -- and free.

Resident Janet Brown saw a sign Tuesday at the Bayberry entrance of the Ygnacio Canal Trail, which leads into the Lime Ridge Open Space. It said that beginning June 15, Walnut Creek would charge people and dogs to use the open space trails. A copy of the sign, which bears the city's logo of a tree, says that all round-trip and one-way fares are $1 for children over 5 years old, and 50 cents for dogs.

But Mike Vickers, public services manager for the city, said this flier, and the idea of charging for access to the open space and use of trails, is all an elaborate prank and completely untrue.

"Certainly people will not be charged to use the trail this year, or any time," Vickers said.

When he went to the Bayberry entrance later Tuesday, the flier was gone. The city found that similar fliers had been posted along the trail at various entrances.

The one at Bayberry said it was the future home of "tollbooth number six" and that failure to pay the admission would result in a $252 citation. Alarmingly, the sign also said that "toll takers are licensed to carry firearms."

The city is looking into who may have produced the fake fliers.

Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.



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