On Saturday March 26, about 55 Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) volunteers, including a dozen from CORBA and a half dozen from the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council (SMMTC) trail crew, gathered to complete the eastern end of the Potrero Ridge Trail. This completes the multiuse trail that connects Newbury Park to Dos Vientos by dirt. Now when makling a loop of the trails in Newbury Park, Dos Vientos and Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, the section between Wendy Drive and Reino Road can be done on dirt. Before, we needed to use 1.35 miles of road/sidewalk.
Construction on this 1000 feet of trail began in the fall of 2009. Originally, there were plans to work on this trail during the 2009 COSCA fall trailwork day, so the brush was cut out along the path of the future trail. However, all the volunteers worked on the nearby Mountain Creek Trail instead, and it was mostly completed, with only one or two rocky or otherwise difficult sections still needing work. (That trail was finished during the 2010 Spring trailwork day.)
The fallback plan was for the COSCA rangers to rough the trail in with a sweco during the winter of 2009/2010, but the weather did not cooperate. The large amount of rain we had that winter kept the rangers busy fixing up other trails that were damaged by rain runoff. The rest of the year was too dry to effectively use the sweco.
Finally this trail’s time had come! Volunteers worked for three hours on Saturday morning with near-perfect weather. It was cloudy and cool, and it had rained a couple of days before so the soil was moist, making it easy to dig and pack without making any dust.
Some of the hillside that the trail traversed was quite steep, so the trail had to be dug deep into the hillside to reach the desired width of three to four feet. And parts of the hillside were very rocky, requiring the liberal use of rock bars in some places. But the volunteers worked hard, taking breaks as they liked, to complete the work in less than three hours. On average, each volunteer was responsible for building 25 feet of trail!
See photos of the work in our 2011 COSCA Spring Trailwork Day photo gallery.
After the work was completed, volunteers gathered at the top of the hill for grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers. CORBA gave out 15%-off coupons from REI to all attendees. After lunch, those who signed up through CORBA gathered for a drawing of prizes, ranging in value from $2 to $20. Everyone won a prize, and everyone who wanted one got a patch kit, tire levers, and a bell.
Thanks to all the volunteers and COSCA staff who helped get this new section of trail on the map and on the ground!