Summary of Backbone Trail Restoration Done January 13, 2018

Nineteen volunteers from CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council met where the Backbone Trail crosses Kanan Road, just north of Tunnel #1, to spend the next few hours restoring the trail towards Latigo Canyon Road. The trail was last worked in April 2016 and since then most of the drains had become clogged with silt and the brush was narrowing the usable part of the trail.

The trail had been flagged the previous day to mark 60 drains that needed to be unclogged or newly built. The flagging went 1.4 miles from the trailhead.

Locations of the 60 new/cleared drains are shown as red X’s along the trail. The parking lot on Kanan is the green star on the left.

We had an inch or so of rain a few days before so the dirt was quite soft. This made the progress go much more quickly than it usually does. It’s so much easier to dig out damp soil than the usual packed dry clay that has the consistency of hardened concrete.

Building a new drain

Most of the volunteers worked on the drains but a small group cut back the overgrowing brush. A crew leader used a hedge trimmer while the others gathered the clippings and hid them off the trail.

Because of the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the soft soil, we worked all 60 drains and got back to the car over a half hour earlier than expected. Of the 60 over 0.9 miles starting above the Kanan tunnel, 16 were new. With only one hedge trimmer, that work went more slowly so there is more work to be done there.

Enjoying lunch on CORBA at the Urbane Cafe and Hamburger Habit.

After the event, CORBA treated the volunteers to lunch at the Urbane Cafe and adjacent Hamburger Habit to thank them for their contribution to everyone’s enjoyment of the trails. Thanks, job well done!

You can see other photos from this event at the photo gallery.

Leave a Reply