Archive for the ‘Trail Crew’ Category

Report on May 11 Space Mountain Trailwork and Photos

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

SAM_0986On Saturday, May 11, eleven mountain biker volunteers along with four from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council ascended “Space Mountain” (Los Robles Trail West) in Thousand Oaks to fix up CORBA’s adopted trail.

Several years ago, a few CORBA volunteers built drainage dips on the trail to protect it from the erosion of winter rains. Those drains have served the trail well, but now they are filling with silt and so are losing their effectiveness, and they need to be cleaned out. The chance came when the Springs Fire burned through Pt Mugu State Park, requiring us to cancel the work we had scheduled for Guadalasca Trail, and allowing us to work on Space Mountain instead.

Overall, we cleaned out somewhere between one and two dozen drainage dips along the bottom 0.6 miles of the singletrack section. We would have done more, but we called it a day an hour and a half earlier than normal because the extreme heat that day and lack of shade wore everyone out.

When we got back to the cars, volunteers picked prizes for themselves before we headed to Hooters for lunch, both provided by CORBA to show our appreciation for the people who gave up their time to help out with the trails. We thank you!

Take a look at our photo gallery of Saturday’s trailwork.

We expect to put on a couple of trailwork days in June to help fix up trails damaged by the Springs Fire in Pt Mugu State Park. Keep an eye out for notifications of those events!

Glendale’s Newest Trail’s are Complete

Monday, May 6th, 2013
Glendale's new Catalina Verdugo Trail

Glendale’s new Catalina Verdugo Trail

When the City of Glendale updated its Trail Master Plan for the City’s open spaces in 2007 and 2008, CORBA volunteers worked closely with City staff to map out existing trails and to identify where new trails would make the most sense. The first two of those new trails have  just been completed.

The Catalina Verdugo Trail loops around the Glendale Sports Complex at the end of  The northern trailhead is next to the Maintenance yard facility. The Southern end of the trail is behind the soccer fields, and comprises a series of switchbacks. Glendale has many difficult and steep trails like those at Brand and Deukmejian Parks, so City officials wanted this to be an easy trail for all levels of trail users to enjoy. The trail is open to hikers and mountain bikes only. The trail joins an existing fire road, from which there is access to Ridge Motorway, a lightly used fire road in the San Rafael hills.  From there it is possible to ride or hike all the way to the trail system at Cherry Canyon.

As with all newly constructed or recently re-built trails, it currently looks quite wide and raw. Over the coming months as the trail beds in it will naturally narrow down and brush will grow in along the trail.  It will be a beautiful, meandering trail through the Chaparral.  There is some steep slopeside exposure in a few sections, but overall it is a non-technical trail suitable for fit beginners and more experienced riders alike. Watch for poison oak along the trail, mostly on the north-facing slopes.

Mountain Do Trail exercise station photo by Robin McGuire

Mountain Do Trail exercise station

The second trail, and also a part of the Sports Complex trails,  is called the Mountain Do Trail. This is a wheelchair accessible, natural surface path, complete with a range of outdoor exercise stations, benches and tables. The Mountain Do Trail wraps around the soccer fields at the Southern end of the Sports Complex. Within the next month, signs and  interpetive panels with information on Flora, Fauna and local history will be added to both trails, making them a great educational resource as well. The Sports Complex is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm and the gates are locked, so access to the trail is restricted outside those times.

The City is planning a formal opening ceremony on June 1st, National Trails Day, but the trails are now ready for use. These trails were expertly designed and constructed by Bellfree Contractors, in accordance with the City of Glendale Trails Master plan. For more information, a map and more photos visit BellFree Contractors’ web site.

Space Mountain Trailwork Scheduled for May 11

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Join CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council as we fix up CORBA’s adopted trail, Space Mountain (Los Robles Trail West) in Thousand Oaks. We’ll be doing treadwork, clearing silt out of the drainages. This is a favorite mountain biking trail, especially in the winter when other trails are muddy. Our work on Saturday will help keep the water off the trail and open to riding next winter!. After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will have prizes for some (or all) lucky volunteers, and treat you to lunch afterwards.

SpaceMtnNo experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Children must be over 7-years old to attend, and children under 14 must be constantly and directly supervised by their parent or guardian who brought them. And you don’t need to be a mountain biker to help out – Everybody is welcome! For more information on trailwork in general, visit our trail crew web page.

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 so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by registering here, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards, and enter you in the drawing for mountain biking prizes! We have some great 2.25″ CST tires, for both 26ers and 29ers.

CORBA’s thank-you lunch will be after trailwork ends at 2:00 pm, so bring some snacks to tide you over.

Meeting location and details are on the online registration page.

Originally this trailwork had been planned for Guadalasca Trail in Pt Mugu State Park, but we relocated because the Springs Fire has closed that park.

Wood Canyon Vista Trail maintenance completed during Trail Days

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

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:

Santa Monica Mtns Trail Days at Sycamore Canyon Apr 20-22

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

SMM Trail DaysOnce a year we have an opportunity to work on the trails and then BBQ and camp at Danielson Ranch in Pt Mugu State Park. It is opened annually for the Santa Monica Trail Days! This is a unique opportunity to work on the trails that we enjoy so much in Sycamore Canyon, and the Saturday workday is followed by a BBQ and prizes, with free camping available on Friday and/or Saturday night. This is hands down the best day to get in some trail maintenance work! Camping is optional; you may leave with the escort after the BBQ. There will be trailwork projects on both Saturday and Sunday. Sign up for one or both! Pre-registration is requested by April 17th so we’ll know how many people to prepare for.

Schedule at a glance

Friday night April 19 – arrive for overnight camping (optional). Bagels and hot beverages supplied Saturday morning for campers.

Saturday April 20Trailwork, barbecue dinner, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch. Optional overnight camping. Bagels and hot beverages supplied Sunday morning for campers.

Sunday April 21Trailwork, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch.

You can volunteer to help out on Saturday, Sunday, or both.

BRING: LUNCHES, BEVERAGES, SNACKS AND WATER. Tools and instruction on using them are provided.

WEAR: Gloves, hat, long pants, protective clothing, and work boots or sturdy shoes.

REGISTRATION: Advance registration is required for the activities shown below, and appreciated by April 17th!

Saturday Registration:
Sunday Registration:

TRAILWORK: Saturday and/or Sunday. Help out with one or both! There are also opportunities to help out in the camp instead of trailwork.

CAMPING: Free camping Friday and/or Saturday nights for volunteers at the Danielson Multi-use Area located under the sycamores and oaks in the heart of Point Mugu State Park. Bring your own gear.

DINNER: Sat. Night Barbecue Free FOR VOLUNTEERS. Bring appetizers and beverages.

PRIZES: Thank-you prize give-aways will be held Saturday after dinner and Sunday after trailwork.

VEHICLE ACCESS: You will be able to caravan into and out of the park by vehicle only at these few designated times:

ARRIVE: Friday – 5 pm and 7 pm Saturday – 8 am and 4:30 pm Sunday – 8:30 am

DEPART: Saturday – 4 pm and after campfire Sunday – 8 am and 2:30 pm

Full details and camping/dining details are also provided on the registration pages.


Report on the Annual Conejo Open Space Trailwork Day, March 23

Monday, March 25th, 2013

About 60 volunteers showed up on Saturday morning to help with the annual spring trailwork day, including nine with CORBA. We met at the new bridge in Hill Canyon, then walked a mile, picked up our tools, then hiked another few hundred yards to the work site.

The morning started off quite chilly, waiting in the shade of the canyon, but as soon as we emerged into the sun, it became quite pleasant.

IMG_3848The work was to clean up after the bulldozer that had scraped the hill at the north-east end of the Western Plateau Trail.

In some ways we were sad to see that this hard-packed, rutted dirt road had been smoothed out because it had been a challenge to climb through the ruts, and was really fun to come back down it. However, the road was in such bad shape that the COSCA rangers weren’t able to get their trucks up it.

There are plans to build new trails in the area of the Western Plateau. Being able to drive people and equipment up means that it will be easier to plan and build these new trails, so we’ll be able to use them sooner. Also, 4×4 vehicles have been illegally driving on the Western Plateau, damaging the trails, roads and creating tracks and bare spots in the open space. They had been doing this with relative impunity because the rangers weren’t able to get up there to stop them. Now that the risks are higher, hopefully the off-roaders will find somewhere legal to drive their vehicles.

The trailwork consisted mostly of knocking down a low berm the bulldozer left at the side of the road so rainwater can run off the road, and building drainages to help channel the water off. The CORBA crew was also assigned the task of blocking off the top of a very steep and loose road that had been chewed into the hillside by illegal 4×4 vehicles.

The ‘dozer driver did a really good job so there wasn’t as much berm to knock down as expected, allowing us to finish up about a half hour early, and head for lunch.

IMG_3916The COSCA (Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency) rangers barbecued up a lunch of hot dogs, beef- and vegie-burgers, with all the typical condiments, chips, fruit and ice-cold drinks. A real bonus was something you rarely see these days – ripe tomatoes!

After lunch, the CORBA workers picked up their bike tire, supplied by IMBA and CST to show appreciation for our volunteer work.

I think we had all hoped to be working on building a new trail on Saturday. Even though we were just putting the finishing touches on a dirt road, most people came away satisfied with the knowledge that we’re making it easier for the rangers and volunteers to preserve the open space and improve trail access in the future. CORBA thanks the many volunteers, especially the mountain bikers, who came out to help with this effort!

View the photo gallery of the volunteers at work and enjoying lunch afterwards!

The Ventura County Star wrote about this event on March 26, and included photos of two CORBA volunteers, including the lead photo. Here’s the link to check it out:

COSCA Spring Trailwork Day March 23th

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Come out and join the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), CORBA, the Santa Monica Trails Council and other volunteers for the Annual COSCA Spring Trailwork Day. We will be building a new trail in the Western Plateau/Conejo Canyons area.

At noon, following the morning of trail-building, workers will be treated to hamburgers/vegi-burgers, chips, fruit and drinks while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow trail enthusiasts!

Wear protective clothing (long-legged pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses), sturdy shoes, gloves, hat and sunscreen.

No experience necessary. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Must be 18+ years of age. Beware of poison oak, ticks & rattlesnakes.

Follow directions of park rangers and trail crew leaders at all times.

Pre-registration is required so that COSCA will have enough tools, crew leaders and food!

Directions to the meeting place and other details are included on the online registration page.

Lots of brush removed from Backbone Trail west of Kanan during Feb 23 trailwork day – and photo gallery

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

During a joint trailwork day, CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council trail crews cleared brush (lots and lots of it!) and fixed drainages on the 2.5 mile segment of the Backbone Trail west from Kanan Rd to Zuma Ridge Motorway.

CORBA volunteers are knee-deep in cuttings that have fallen into the trail
CORBA volunteers are knee-deep in cuttings that have fallen into the trail

We split into two teams to tackle this trail. 15 CORBA volunteers grabbed loppers and saws to take on the overgrowing brush. The tread along this segment is in pretty good shape, so a small group of four SMMTC and CORBA volunteers took earth-moving tools to clear out the drainages so rain water wouldn’t cause ruts in the future.

It’s important to clear brush from the trail not only to keep it from becoming so overgrown that it’s impassible, but also to increase the sight distances so approaching travellers can see each other from further away and have time to react/respond to the other’s presence. In the case of mountain bikers approaching hikers or equestrians, this should mean slowing down and preparing to stop, if necessary, to yield the right-of-way.

This trail had been worked by the SMMTC crew twice in the past few months so much of the brush had already been cut back, but there were two very bad sections. One was about 2/3 miles east of Zuma Ridge Mtwy where the brush has not been cut back for several years and both sides had grown almost to the middle. The other was on the switchbacks near Kanan Rd where the heavy branches overhead were drooping down so low that riders need to duck a lot of them.

We started from Zuma Ridge Mtwy and worked our way east, cutting back a few bushes to improve sight distances until we came to the major section that was overgrown. We spent most of our time there and now it’s very easily passible. And we created a huge pile of cut branches off the side of the trail!

Volunteers enjoy lunch at the Urbane Cafe after the workday is finished

Volunteers enjoy lunch at the Urbane Cafe after the workday is finished

Once that was done, we hiked east, pausing at the bridge for a snack and to enjoy the pretty area. We had hoped to clear the overhanging branches near Kanan Rd, but we only had time to clear some other problem spots we passed on the way there. Overall, we worked on 2 miles of the 2.5-mile long trail segment.

After putting the tools away, CST tires, 26″ and 29″, were distributed to everyone who wanted one, as a “Thank-you!” from CORBA, IMBA and CST Tires for helping out. Then we retired to Ubane Cafe for lunch.

We’ll have to have another trailwork day to clear those other low hangning branches, but they’re close to the trailhead so it will be easy to get to them. Stay tuned for news of future trailwork days to clear out this section!

Check out our trailwork photo gallery to see photos of this trailwork.


Backbone Trailwork Scheduled for February 23

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Join CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council as we fix up the section of the Backbone Trail between Zuma Ridge Motorway and Kanan Road. We’ll mostly be cutting back overgrowing brush, especially branches that are hanging down and make riders duck as they go by. After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will have prizes for some (or all) lucky volunteers, and treat you to lunch afterwards.

Riding the Backbone Trail between Kanan and Zuma Ridge

No experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Must be 18+ years of age.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 (by RSVPing “Yes” on our Meetup event) so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by pre-registering, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards, and enter you in the drawing for mountain biking prizes! We have some great 2.25″ CST tires, for both 26ers and 29ers.

You can find the rest of the details, including times and directions, on our Meetup event.

The Grand Canyon by Bike, Not Burro

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Suburu/IMBA Trail Care Crew helps bring new singletrack to the North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has often been called the “eighth wonder of the world.” Lesser known is the area’s value as a mountain biking destination. Eighteen miles of moderate singletrack with stunning views into the canyon are open to bikes on the North Rim. The land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) North Kaibab Ranger District, which is looking to add additional miles to the existing, out-and-back trail.
IMBA Grand CanyonContrary to popular belief, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is not a desert. The Rainbow Rim trail sits at 8,000 feet, winding through forests of ponderosa pine and aspen trees. Users can expect to see abundant wildlife, including the rare Kaibab Squirrel, a white-tailed, tufted-eared critter that only lives in the 40-mile radius of the Kaibab Plateau. The forest is also home to wild turkeys, often spotted running in packs through the trees.
During the last weekend of September, the Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) helped the staff of the Kaibab forest prepare to add seven additional miles to the existing Rainbow Rim trail. Several of the rangers there are mountain bikers and wanted IMBA’s guidance to design the extension specifically for bikes.
To kick things off, IMBA hosted Land Manager Training, helping the Kaibab forest staff and rangers from the neighboring Dixie National Forest to better understand mountain bikers as a user group. The presentation was followed by a robust discussion about resource protection, risk management and trail design.
The Trail Care Crew—along with IMBA regional directors Ryan Schutz and Patrick Kell—then assisted the rangers in finding the most fun, beautiful and sustainable route for the new trail, which will utilize a steep side slope to add a loop and turn Rainbow Rim into a lollipop ride. Schutz, Kell and the TCC flagged the steep hillside carefully, using the contour to ensure good flow in the final trail while keeping riders off an unpleasantly steep, loose service road. The new section of planned trail must undergo an environmental assessment, but as soon as the Kaibob rangers get the go-ahead, construction will begin.
The Rainbow Rim project also involves a road-to-trail conversion, which is already underway. The TCC and volunteers from Arizona and New Mexico reclaimed 900 feet of road, converted 1,200 feet of road into trail and cut 900 feet of brand-new singletrack to bypass the old road. The USFS will finish where the volunteers left off, replacing the road with sinewy singletrack.
After a night spent camping on the North Rim with the volunteers and sharing a headlamp-lit cookout, the TCC had a chance to ride the Rainbow Rim trail.
“The remoteness of this trail gives you a feeling of isolation that is often not found at the South Rim,” said TCC member Jesse Livingston. “And the well-designed nature of the trail allows riders to enjoy mileage that is difficult to achieve in mountainous terrain.”
Only a few days after the TCC left the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab rangers contacted IMBA headquarters asking for more help with their next big trail idea. We hope this visit marks the beginning of a lasting partnership with one of America’s most treasured natural splendors.

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