I don't post here........ever....but
All of these trails in that area have been there sense the late 70's....at least. I have hiked, biked, and snowmobiled all of those trails for as long as I can remember. The area where the mall sits now used to be a big area for local dirt bikers and offroaders back in the 80's and 90's (trespassing of course) some of the traffic overflowed onto the state land this created some trails, some people not knowing where the boundary between the private property and state land was. A lot was from hunting as well, I can remember the trails being covered in shotgun shells....me and my sister would pick them all up while hiking with dad and bring em home....mom was pi$$ed!!
For the most part 99% of those trails have remained the same for over 30 years.
The JCP parking lot just makes it more convenient for "more" people access the trail. For those of us that live on the west end of town, it makes no sense to drive all the way to the east side of town, to access the park entrance and then drive half way back toward the west side of town to the trail head......with gas at $4.00 a gallon, for me that's 8 miles vs 20 miles and has nothing to do with a park pass, it is just easier.
Only thing I can say is respect this as a mall parking lot. I have seen people strip down nude, put on their riding gear and hit the trail....the mall security frowns on this. Keep it clean and use it for what it is. Talking to security a few times they said they don't mind anyone parking there and using that as a staging area to ride from as long as no one is doing anything wrong, but if complaints are made they will have to start kicking people out.