Giving back…and I got it!

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.


McLeod Fire Tool

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.

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Hi there…

I’m Larry. Wel­come to my blog about hik­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. I hope you enjoy my ram­blings. Please feel free to add your com­ments and I encour­age you to share your hik­ing expe­ri­ences in So Cal with us…

Norma and I are graphic design­ers. If you would like to see our work go to Sketch­Pad.