Archive for the ‘Trail Crew’ Category

Building the first trail in the new Sapwi Trails Park on Oct 21.

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

On Saturday during the Conejo Fall Trailwork Day, a group of 193 volunteers helped build the first trail in Sapwi Trails Park. We completed 0.67 miles, about half of the new trail. Some of it was along a very steep cross-slope so we had to move a lot of dirt to establish the tread.

Much of the rest of the trail was across a gentle cross-slope, so it can be traversed even if it hasn’t been finished.

You can see photos of some of the work that was done in our photo gallery, as well as pictures of the lunch and muk-a-muks who turned out to celebrate the occasion.

‘Creek of Doom’ trail restoration in MCSP on November 11

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Last winter’s rains damaged the surface of Crags Rd Trail in Malibu Creek State Park and have encouraged brush to grow up along its steep upslope bank. The CORBA and Santa Monica Mountain Trails Council trail crews will be fixing these problems on the section of the trail that goes along the creek as it approaches the M*A*S*H site. It’s fondly known as “The Rock Garden” or “The Creek of Doom.”

After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards.

No experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided.

Parents/guardians are responsible for minors at all times, and they must constantly and directly supervise children under 14. Children must be over 7-years old to attend. Please leave your four-legged friends at home!

Be sure to wear protective clothing (sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, hat, golves) and bring snacks, sunscreen and water. CORBA will provide the tools and training.

We request that you pre-register online at https://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/242673091/ so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by registering here, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards!

CORBA’s thank-you lunch will be after trailwork ends at 2:30 pm, so bring some snacks to tide you over.

The online registration page also contains details about where and when to meet.

Help build another new trail during the COSCA Annual Trailwork Day, October 21

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Join CORBA, SMMTC, COSCA and other volunteer groups to work on the Conejo Open Space trails in Thousand Oaks.

This year we’ll be working in the new Sapwi Trails area, near Westlake Blvd and Avenida De Arboles. This new area will include a bike park as well as trails and other recreational activities. The plans have recently been approved and funding secured.

There will be a thank you lunch and prize drawings at noon after the work. This is a great event with lots of like-minded folks to help out. If you use the trails in Thousand Oaks, come out and help build and maintain them! No prior experience is necessary and all volunteers work at their own pace, taking plenty of time to rest and chat with other trail enthusiasts!

This annual Conejo Valley event always helps to put some very sweet trails into good shape. Be sure to stay afterwards for the free lunch and raffle.

Details are available on our 2017 COSCA Annual Trailwork Day event on Meetup.com. While there, register online to show your support!

Things to bring:

• work gloves
• long pants and long sleeved shirt
• water, snack
• sunglasses and sunblock

Tools and instructions on how to use them safely will be provided. There will be a free thank-you lunch and prize give-away afterwards from noon until 2:00 pm.

CORBA in the News: Volunteers wage weekly fight with mountain trail erosion

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

From the Ventura County Star, Sunday, April 12, 2009


Burt Elliott, trail maintenance coordinator, leads volunteers and fellow members of the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council to the Saturday work site. Volunteers cut back shrubs, cleared minor slides and upgraded runoff canals along a 1.4-mile stretch.

Encumbered by heavy tools, a dozen members of the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council met Saturday morning in the dirt parking lot of a trailhead on the Backbone Trail. Their mission: trail maintenance.

Oxnard resident Dave Edwards, group leader, said the purpose of the volunteer, nonprofit organization is establishing and maintaining the public trail system throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. That’s why he and his colleagues were shouldering pickaxes, grappling with loppers (oversized pruning shears) and swinging McLeods, the five-tooth rake with a cutting edge used by California Division of Forestry firefighters. They were heading out on a two-mile hike to combat trail ruts and erosion from rain and mountain bikes by digging water bars to drain rainwater from the trial.

There also was a report of two small landslides near the mountain crest that needed to be checked out and cleared if necessary. “We spend a lot of time putting in drains,” said Edwards, 62. “Maintaining these trails gives all of us a sense of accomplishment. We may only do 300 or 400 feet (of trail) today, but we keep coming back, even though the pay is lousy.”

And they do come back — every weekend and one Wednesday a month, 10 months a year. July and August are a respite because of the heat. Edwards said they are often joined by the Santa Monica Mountains Task Force of Sierra Club or members of Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA).

Burt Elliot, 76, of Thousand Oaks said he’s been a Trails Council member “going on 17 years.” “I hike, run and mountain bike the trails,” he said, striding briskly up an incline. “I’m a retired engineer, and I like to build things. It’s also neat to have a relationship with the park. Our crew leaders are actually unpaid staff.”


CORBA members Steve Clark of Newbury Park and Claudia Mitchell of Oxnard team up Saturday to groom Backbone Trail with the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council.

At age 22, Celina Armenta was one of three in the group not eligible for AARP membership. Edwards said a lot of Trails Council members are retired, giving them more free time. Armenta drove from Downey to join the group for the first time. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara, but only recently became interested in hiking. “I’m not much of a hiker. I grew up in Los Angeles, where everything is flat,” she said between gasps for air. “All these older people can outhike me. They tell me how to fix the trail and the names of flowers and I say, ‘Cool.’ I definitely want to do this some more,” she added. “And I’m going to make my lazy friends come out here — forget the YMCA.”

Armenta said she might bring her friends to meet her new hiking friends at the 28th Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days — 2009. The three-day event will kick off April 24 at Point Mugu State Park. It’s a weekend devoted to building new trails and restoring old ones in partnership with the Trails Council, California State Parks, CORBA, California Native Plant Society, the National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains Natural History Association, Temescal Canyon Association, Santa Monica Mountains Task Force of Sierra Club and Conejo Sierra Club. Camping is free for trail workers. All volunteers are welcome; trail work experience is not required. Camp will be at the Danielson Ranch multiuse site under sycamore and oak trees in the heart of the park.

For more information, call 818-222-4550 or visit http://www.smmtc.org. More photos are available in the VenturaCountyTrails.org photo gallery.

Jeff Klinger, chairman of CORBA, responds to the statement in this article that “trail ruts and erosion… [are caused by] rain and mountain bikes”

The article indicates that the trail erosion was caused by two factors: rain and mountain bikes. Identifying one user group without mentioning the array of factors that contribute to erosion does not fairly portray that group and implies that erosion is somehow use-specific, when it is not.

Independent studies demonstrate that mountain bikes cause no more surface erosion than other types of trail use. And, many factors contribute to the erosion of trails, including natural and human sources. Water causes the most damage to trails, as it is the most erosive force of nature (that’s how we got the Grand Canyon). All trail recreation has some impact, however that impact is increased or decreased as a result of many factors, including trail design. Sustainable trail design and properly constructed water control features serve to minimize erosive effects of nature and trail users.

The bottom line is that trails are built by people primarily for recreational use. Because trails are unprotected by vegetation and exposed to the elements, particularly concentrated rainwater erosion and continuous plant growth into the open trail space, trails must be maintained or they will erode away and be overtaken by vegetation. Hiking and biking groups such as the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association take a leadership role and deploy volunteer teams year-round to maintain these precious resources for the community to enjoy. We welcome everyone to come out and join us.

Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew Visiting Santa Barbara March 26 – 29

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Santa Barbara, March 7, 2009 – The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will be in SANTA BARBARA, March 26th through March 29th to talk trails, teach people sustainable trail building technique, and spend quality time on trail with volunteers. The visit is one of 70 stops on the 2009 schedule. Everyone is invited to attend the weekend’s events – but registration is required for the Trail Building workshop.


Subaru Commitment
to the Outdoors

The award-winning Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program includes two full-time, professional teams of trail experts who travel North America year-round, leading IMBA Trail building Schools, meeting with government officials and land managers, and working with IMBA-affiliated groups to improve mountain biking opportunities. IMBA’s Crews have led more than 1,000 trail projects since the program debuted in 1997.

The Crews teach “sustainable” trail building, which means building trails that last a long time and require minimal maintenance. This helps reduce trail damage, protects the environment, and enhances visitor enjoyment.

Now in its eighth year, the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program is more popular than ever.

The Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program has inspired great volunteer trail work across the U.S. and abroad – a big help to government agencies and land managers who have limited funding for trail construction and upkeep.

Coming to SANTA BARBARA are Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew members Inga Beck and Jason Van Horn.  Beck hails from the San Francisco area while Van Horn is from Oregon.  They bring a unique combination of professional experience to the program – from coaching mountain bike skills, working with a multitude of environmental organizations, to swing dancing and yoga – on top of being trained as some of the country’s top trail builders.  They’re also committed volunteers who have logged hundreds of hours building trails and performing outreach work with a host of public agencies.

All are welcome to join the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew leaders when they come to town. Below is a schedule of events that are open to the public:

This presentation focuses on techniques that advocacy groups across the country have used to reach goals, overcome, challenges, and build up their community.  Any trails, outdoor, environmental, or sports based organization will benefit from this workshop.  Included will be ideas on sustaining boards of directors, recruiting members, and making sure that everyone has a great time participating in their organization.  No cost.

    • March 28th, IMBA Trail Building School and trail work.

8:30am – 5:00pm, Louise Lowery Davis Center 1232 De La Vina St Santa Barbara, CA: Pre-registration is required. Registration: http://go.imba.com/santabarbara or register by email to chris.orr@sbmtv.org or ray@sbtrails.org.

This workshop instructs hikers, cyclists, and equestrians sustainable trail building/maintenance philosophies and trains volunteers and land managers to use these skills on their trails and in their community.   The workshop will include a half day (8:30am -12:30pm) in class instruction and a half day on a trail applying and refining skills. Location of the trail will be announced in the workshop.  Carpooling is strongly encouraged.  No cost.

  • March 28th,  After Trail Work Social with the IMBA TCC, Location TBA
  • March 29th, TCC Fun Ride , 10am Location TBA

For more information and to register for the IMBA Trailbuilding School, contact Chris Orr (chris.orr@sbmtv.org) or register at http://go.imba.com/santabarbara

For a complete list of visit dates, photos and additional information on the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew visit www.imba.com.

The previous visit of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew to the region was to Ventura County in 2005. You can view the photo galleries of trailwork and the following recreational ride.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered near Philadelphia, the company markets and distributes all-wheel drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru of America, Inc., is the only car company that offers symmetrical all-wheel drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line. Subaru has been the best-selling import wagon in America for the past 20 years, based on R.L. Polk & Company new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2002.

About IMBA

The International Mountain Bicycling Association creates, enhances and preserves trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA’s worldwide network includes 32,000 individual members, more than 500 bicycle clubs, and 400 corporate partners and dealer members. For more information visit www.imba.com.

About SBMTV

Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers is a group of advocates dedicated to building a trail community and sustainable trail system through continued volunteer work. The Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers formed over 20 years ago in response to threatened trail closures. Since then the Trail Volunteers have worked hard to promote responsible mountain bike trail use and volunteer trail maintenance activities. We are currently focusing our energy on rider education and the development of closer ties between members of the trail community.

About the Santa Barbara County Trails Council

Since 1969, the Santa Barbara County Trails Council has dedicated itself to working with local government agencies and other organizations on the development of a safe and sustainable trail network, acquisition of new trails and support for volunteer trail maintenance programs. SBTC plays a key role in bridging the differences among trail user groups as we work towards building a network of trails that serve the entire community.

The Mount Hillyer Project

Monday, May 12th, 2008

May 2, 2008

CORBA is pleased to announce the approval of our proposal for a new trail in the Angeles National Forest.  The new Rock & Rail Trail will be a 1 mile long trail at the summit of Mount Hillyer near Chilao. It will include many technical features. Read all about it on our Mt Hillyer Project web page.

Mustard Growth on the New Millennium Trails in Calabasas

Friday, May 9th, 2008

May 9, 2008

Spring has sprung and so did the Mustard plants! The New Millennium Trail has become so overgrown with this plant the trail is unusable at this time! The CORBA Trail Crew was out on 4/15 and 4/17 working on the trail. It was a slow process but we managed to clear .7 of a mile from the intersection of the Bark Park Trail heading south.  There is still much work to be done!

CORBA has been communicating with the Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) to come up with a solution to get this great trail passable once again! The MRT has mobilized their Crew to work on brush removal on the trail. The CORBA Trail Crew returned to the trail on 5/9 and worked on some slides and erosion problems on the South side of the trail near Normans Way.

The MRT Crew has cleared the brush from Parkway Calabasas past Normans Way/Stokes Canyon to the switchbacks and Parkway Calabasas towards Calabasas Road/Gun Club Road past the water tank on the ridge above the other set of switchbacks.

We hope to be able to report very soon that the entire trail is once again usable!

Web pages to check out:

December 7, 2008 Update: The trails are completely clear of mustard and other weeds.

Vetter Mountain Trail to Open May 5, 2017

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

After more than two years of dedicated volunteer work by CORBA and MWBA volunteer sawyers, we’re happy to announce that the Vetter Mountain Trail, near Charlton Flat in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, will be open to the public this weekend.

Our volunteer sawyer crew has been cutting downed trees off the trail, clearing brush, and working to reopen the heavily-damaged trail. It is in one of the most badly burned areas of the 2009 Station Fire, and thousands of trees killed in the fire have been falling since then.

Vetter Mountain Trail, May 2010

We surveyed the trail for the Forest Service in 2010, the year after the Station Fire. The area had barely begun recovering and would need several more years before work could begin. Vegetation had to grow back, hillsides stabilize, and standing dead trees would fall to the ground. Intense poodle dog settled in not long after, increasing the hazards.

October 2015 we began volunteer work, needing to first clear the trail corridor as best we could, and in many cases, locate the trail. CORBA and MWBA Chainsaw crews began the heavy work. Sawyers have cut well over 100 trees that fell across the trail, and dozens more on the roads to access the trail, in ten days of chainsaw work over the last year. We cut back brush that was choking off the trail, and reopened the corridor. Three times over the past year we cleared the entire trail of downed trees, only to return months later to start again.

Volunteer Sawyers begin work on Vetter in 2015

Earlier this year, hot shots fire crews were able to fell most of the largest standing hazard trees, reducing hazards along the trail corridor. The rate of trees falling is slowing down, especially since the big windstorms of this past winter. Numerous dead trees are still standing, and will continue to pose a hazard for some time, much like many other trails in the recovering areas. Be especially aware if you’re on the trails in a burn zone during high winds or bad weather, as dead trees are especially prone to falling in these conditions.

Volunteers on National Trails Day

Last Saturday, at our urging, the Forest Service scheduled the annual National Trails Day volunteer project on the Vetter Mountain trail. Volunteer Crews from Coca Cola, MWBA, CORBA, JPL Trail Builders, Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association, National Forest Foundation and many other groups and individuals proceeded to re-establish tread and cut back brush. Sawyer crews chainsawed a dozen or more trees from the trail. Sunday, CORBA volunteer sawyers returned to continue cutting the remaining downed trees from the trail.

Today, Thursday May 4, the CORBA team will return to put some final touches on the trail, remove the last remaining obstructions, and officially remove the “trail closed” signs in preparation for the trail’s opening this weekend.

The Vetter Mountain trail has been closed for 8 years. It is part of the classic and much-loved Chilao Figure 8, a popular mountain bike loop that includes the Charlton Connector Trail, Vetter Mountain Trail, Mount Hillyer Trail, connecting fire roads, and the Silver Mocassin trail. It has been missed, and will be enjoyed once again!

Once lush with majestic conifers, and known for a series of switchbacks, followed by a flowy descent along a drainage, the trail looks much less apocalyptic than it did on our first survey in 2010. The area is recovering, but it is still within the burn zone, and will look very different from it’s pre-fire state. We’re just happy to have it back!

The Vetter Mountain trail has been closed for 8 years. It was part of the classic and much-loved Chilao Figure 8, a route that includes the Charlton Connector Trail, Vetter Mountain Trail, Mount Hillyer Trail, connecting fire roads, and the Silver Mocassin trail. It has been missed, and will be enjoyed once again!

Report on the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days, April 28-30, 2017

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

On Thursday, in preparation for the annual Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days held every year in Pt Mugu State Park, I drove my now very dusty car down the main Sycamore Canyon trail and parked at the bottom of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, a segment of the Backbone Trail. I hiked up the trail and flagged 59 spots where drains were needed – mostly to clean out existing drains that had become clogged with silt from the winter rains, but also some new drains about 2/3 of the way up the trail.

Saturday, CORBA volunteers and few others install drains and repair ruts on the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, a segment of the backbone trail.

Saturday morning, the State and National park services drove 17 of us, including 2 youngsters, and our work tools to the bottom of the trail. After grabbing our tools, we hiked 1.5 miles up to the work area, about 2/3 of the way to the top, and proceeded to work down. Altogether, we put installed or cleaned 26 drains.

The area of greatest concern was at the start of our work area where the trail passes through a grassy area and is solid clay. Most of the rest of the trail is very rocky. This clay section is pliable, quickly becomes depressed in the middle where a rut erodes when it rains. This section of the trail was completely restored during trailwork in February 2015, yet it was as rutted as ever after just two years. A narrow but deep rut had developed in the middle of the trail, just wide enough for a mountain bike tire to slip in and get jammed.

We learned that leveling the trail doesn’t last here, so instead we cut a drain in about every 50 feet. That involved cutting through the berm (the dirt that builds up on the outside edge of the trail and keeps the water from running off), the first few inches was as hard as concrete, despite having been rain-soaked a few weeks earlier. The drains were 3 to 5 feet wide. We used the dirt we dug out of the drains to fill in the rut on the trail. Now we have a section with frequent drains to keep the water from running all the way down the trail, and the rut is filled with dirt. Hopefully this restoration will last longer than two years!

Overall, we dug out 26 drains over 2100′ of trail and filled in about 500′ of rut! Well done, everyone!

Saturday restoration on the Upper Sycamore Trail.

While the CORBA crew was working on the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, the other volunteers (about 60 of them) worked to restore the Upper Sycamore Trail where Sycamore Creek crosses it a number of times. By all accounts, this trail was decimated by the stream. This is a very shaded trail in a deep canyon and popular with hikers, but it’s in the Wilderness Area and so closed to mountain biking.

Everyone was back to the staging area by about 2:30 so we spent the afternoon relaxing and chatting with friends until the barbecue dinner. As usual, we had chicken, hot dogs, veggie burgers, baked beans (regular and veggie), salad and garlic toast. It was up to us to bring our own beverages. As dinner was winding down, the prize give-away started. There were so many prizes that everyone must have gotten one.

Saturday barbecue dinner.

The work continued on Sunday morning with a much smaller force of about 30 total. We all shuttled up to Upper Sycamore Trail, then split into two crews. One hiked up to the top of the trail to work on tread issues while the other worked on clearing overgrowing brush from the bottom. Sunday is always a smaller and shorter event; we were back to the staging area by noon to enjoy left-overs from Saturday’s barbecue.

CORBA would like to thank all the volunteers who came out to help fix up our trails in Pt Mugu State Park. Everyone did a great job! And a special thanks goes to the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council that organizes this event every year.

You can see all the photos from this weekend in CORBA’s photo gallery, or photos from Steve Messer and Xander Tenai . Take a look to see what we accomplished.

 

Report on Earth Day trail building in Malibu Creek State Park April 22, 2017

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

A few dozen volunteers gathered at Malibu Creek State Park on Saturday Morning, Earth Day, to help spruce it up. There were three main projects: to pick litter out of the creek, to paint over graffiti, and to build an extension to the Grasslands Trail. CORBA and other mountain bikers worked on the new trail.

A number of years ago, a steep fall-line trail that connected the Grasslands Trail to High Road was closed because it was not sustainable. At the time, it was planned that a new, contour trail would replace it. After many delays caused by, among other things, fires and floods in other parks, the first phase of the new trail was completed this past Saturday!

This trail is going to have a great view!

The trail had been roughed in by a SWECO trail bulldozer in the past couple of weeks, so the job of the volunteers was to put on the finishing touches – removing rocks, smoothing out bumps, ensuring an even outslope so next winter’s rainwater will run off the edge rather than down the middle, and completing the uphill edge.

There were enough volunteers that we got the work completed well before the expected time of noon, meaning that we had a bit of a wait until the Subway sandwiches were delivered for lunch. That gave us more time to sit and chat.

The second phase will be to build a 16′ bridge across an intermittent stream. Once that’s done, the remainder of the trail can be built to finish the connection to the High Road trail that leads to Crags Road, Century Lake and the MASH site.

Thanks to all the volunteers who dedicated their Saturday morning to help with one of their local parks!

You can see some of the activities in our photo gallery of the Grasslands Trail extension.