Officials with Camp Lejeune's conservation law enforcement agency reiterated the restrictions in a February news release after learning local cycling websites highlighted the trails, said Maj. Brian Strack, director of the base's range control division. A recent uptick in violators using the trails at Marine Corps Air Station New River and Camp Lejeune that run near the Bravo Charlie and Bravo Delta training areas also played a role, according to the release.
But since the trails are accessible without passing through a gate, their use could lead to unauthorized visitors wandering around the facility, potentially into secure or hazardous areas, he warned.
"Any time there are people in the training area and we don't know where they are, there is an inherent risk they might end up somewhere where they shouldn't be," Strack said.
Local cyclists say the move places restrictions on trails they've have had access to for decades, and has created some friction between the Corps and biking groups. Permission to use the trails has come and gone, said retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Jeff LeBlanc, president of Down East Cyclists, but the area has been popular with bikers for more than 30 years.
Marine officials are encouraging cyclists to use a roughly 7-mile trail closer to the heart of Camp Lejeune, largely paid for and built by LeBlanc's group, in place of those closer to the training ranges.
"Right now it's a little bit of tension," he said. "I will work with the base any way possible to get authority for a trail at New River Station. We are passionate about our sport."
Along with potentially wandering into a secure or dangerous area, interlopers also might get rundown by a military vehicle, disrupt training or force a unit to pause operations, he said.
Boniface described the infractions as "simple cases of trespassing and failure to comply with published regulations." The restrictions have been in place since 2011, he said.
Unauthorized civilians face federal trespassing charges and being banned from base while Defense Department employees could lose driving privileges or suffer non-judicial punishment, officials said.