Wood Canyon Vista Trail maintenance completed during Trail Days

During the annual Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days in Pt Mugu State Park, CORBA volunteers with the help of a few others repaired drains and cleared brush along the entire 1.8 miles of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, a segment of the Backbone Trail.

Clearing brush on the Wood Canyon Vista Trail. Links to the photo galleries are at the bottom of this article.

Clearing brush on the Wood Canyon Vista Trail. Links to the photo galleries are at the bottom of this article.

The SMM Trail Days is a weekend-long event organized by the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council that has taken place at the end of April for 32 years running. As well as helping with trailwork on Saturday and Sunday morning, volunteers are able to camp over Friday and Saturday night at the Danielson Multiuse Area, enjoy a barbecue dinner on Saturday, and win great prizes on both Saturday and Sunday in appreciation for their work.

On Saturday morning, 17 CORBA Volunteers and a few others were shuttled from the registration area to the bottom of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail. We split into four groups, headed by CORBA trail crew leaders Steve Messer and Steve Clark, and Trails Council crew leaders John Kross and Greg Sweel, and started up the trail. Two of the groups focused on cleaning sediment out from existing drainage dips and cutting new drainages where needed, while the other two groups wielded loppers or a hedge trimmer to cut back overgrowing brush. In addition, we had the support of two employees of California State Parks who used a gas hedge trimmer to cut back a major overgrown section halfway up the trail. This section included lots of poison oak, so we are extremely grateful for their help!

Overall we fixed up about 1.3 miles of trail from the bottom.

While we were working on this section of the Backbone Trail, other groups were working on Coyote Trail, and in the Boney Mountain Wilderness Area, Blue Canyon Trail, Old Boney Trail and Chamberlain Trail.

Preparing dinner on Saturday night.

Preparing dinner on Saturday night.

On Sunday, a smaller group of 6 CORBA volunteers plus 3-4 others were shuttled to the top of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail so we could work down to where we had left off the day before. We split into a group with loppers led by CORBA trail crew leader Steve Clark to cut back brush, and a group with treadwork tools to clean out drainages, led by Trails Council crew leader Howard Cohen. We completed the upper section of the trail in about an hour and a half, then hiked to the bottom to catch a ride back to the registration area. On the way down we were able to take in the magnificent view of Sycamore Canyon and Boney Mountain, something we don’t have as much time to appreciate when we’re riding our bikes.

Other groups were working on the Upper Sycamore Trail and “Toe Stubber” Trail (part of Old Boney Trail) in the Wilderness Area on Sunday.

I’m very pleased with the work CORBA volunteers accomplished over the weekend! I never expected we’d get the whole trail completed. I’m also grateful for the help of a few other volunteers, and especially the State Park staff who took care of the poison oak. Without them, we wouldn’t have completed the trail.

A special thanks goes out to the Trails Council for the outstanding job they do in organizing this event, with the extras like free camping, bagel breakfasts, Saturday night BBQ dinner, and great prizes for everyone. And the rangers and other employees of the State and National Parks had a huge part in making this event such a success. All this effort ensured that the volunteers came away not only with a sense of accomplishment for helping to keep the trails in good shape, but also with great memories of the whole weekend!

Here are links to photo galleries of the weekend:

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