As I related to you on Saturday, I went on my first trail maintenance foray on Sunday with some members of the Community Hiking Club based in Santa Clarita. It was on the Canyon Trail in Placerita Canyon which starts at the Visitors Center. When we got to the area of the trail to fix, the leader of our little ‘chain gang’ had been noticing in the past that people riding horses were cutting off the trail and down into the stream and then cutting back onto the trail. This was damaging an endangered frog habitat (Pacific Chorus Frog) and needed to be stopped. She also figured the reason they were doing this was because the trail was too high and needed to be lowered.
So, we needed to haul rocks in to shore up the trail, widen and lower it, and then block access to two areas that people with horses were trying to use. The tools we used were a wheelbarrow, a pick and two McLeods (fire tools).
Right before we quit for the day, we went up and down the stream bed and located a number of large, downed tree branches and carried them over to the two places the horses were cutting into the stream to try and block their passage. Thinking that the riders would not dismount and move the branches. We also hope that lowering the trail will give them a reason to stay on the trail and not take a shortcut.
I was hauling rocks the whole time – some, pretty big ones too. We decided to lay down a layer of rocks and then pull down a layer of dirt from the high trail onto the rocks. Once this was done and packed down, we would lay another layer of rocks and repeat the process – gradually moving closer to the hillside with each layer. This would also allow us to lower the height of the trail.
One of the maintainers would pull the dirt down and pack it in while others would collect the various size rocks and pile them up for the person placing the rocks. Whenever we came up to the ‘dump’ area with a very large rock, one that no one would want to move again, we would call out “one timer!” and they would let us know where to place the rock in the scheme of things. Then it didn’t get moved again.
Funny, I didn’t see any frogs all morning. No water in the stream either. I have included a link here to a PDF file put out by the Oregon State University.
I was so beat when I got home, and we were only out there from 8 until 12, that I forgot to take a picture of the area that we were shoring up. I’ll be going out there next Sunday to help finish it up so I’ll take a picture of it so you can see it.