PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) – A Friday filled with wonderful weather drew people out to Lake Clementine in the Auburn State Recreation Area – but during peak season, it poses some parking problems.

The serene spot brought Tayler Johnson out to hike to Lake Clementine near the American River Confluence.

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“I try to get out as much as possible,” Johnson said.

She’s thankful for mostly clear trails on this Friday, and the lack of difficulty finding parking. But during these pandemic times, weekends and summer bring more out to nature.

“You have to park almost a half-mile to an entire mile away,” Johnson said, discussing the parking problems. “There is no parking and people get desperate.”

Some people often make their own spots and park illegally along the side of the road. It’s a trend avid hikers Mark and Theresa Lucas say recently spiked.

“Since the COVID hit, it’s really gotten packed,” Mark Lucas said.

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After last summer, Placer County has had enough.

“You’re restricting the lane people can use,” said Stephanie Holloway, a senior engineer with the county’s public works department. She hopes it will stop. The county aimed to put new restrictions in place on certain stretches of Foresthill Road to avoid congestion.

“If that happens on both sides of the road – you can get down to as little as a one-lane road,” Holloway said. It makes it especially difficult during potential emergency situations, too – she explained.

Soon, new “No Parking” signs may be seen around the area. When it comes to enforcement, state parks staff are the eyes and ears. Placer County may even ask California Highway Patrol to help issue citations, too. Having an adopted ordinance could make the rules clearer for all.

“CHP doesn’t necessarily want to write tickets or enforce in areas where we don’t have an adopted ordinance, that really hamstringed us,” Holloway said, speaking of safer roads and happy trails ahead.

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The amendment is expected to be adopted this upcoming Tuesday at a Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting. The goal is to have the ordinance take effect before Memorial Day.

Heather Janssen