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National Trails Day Recap

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Every year National Trails Day gives us the opportunity to harness the efforts of a large volunteer group to get a lot of work done on one of our more imposing projects. This year that was the rehabilitation of the upper Clarendon trail.

A quick tool talk before heading down to our projects

A combination of the extended winter weather and impact on the trail led to widening of the trail and an increased outslope (the small intentional slope across the width of a trail to help water drain). Straight wide trails lead to a less intimate experience with the open space, and without any ebb and flow multi-use trails can be more prone to user conflict.

Trail crews spread out along the Clarendon trail

The volunteers on National Trails Day did yeoman's work helping restore the Clarendon trail. First, reintroducing some retaining features was a primary task - this involved digging trenches and moving (some massive) logs into place.

I still can’t believe it only took the 4 of them to lift this.

Even harder was reshaping the trail to reduce the outslope to a nice gentle couple percent. This requires carefully shaving away material bit by bit - the typical the saying is 'it's a lot easier to remove material that put it back.' In this case, the existing trail surface was so hardened it might as well have been concrete and took massive efforts to carefully reshape. All told, our volunteers did great work, and we were able to restore some great flow to the Clarendon trail.

Example of before (left) and after (right) with improved trail definition, outslope, and trail flow.

In addition to the primary project on the Clarendon trail, we also had a small group make some urgent repairs on the lower Historic trail and finish up some drainage work that was started during our previous workday. Their improvements looked like they were built to last. All in all, a hugely productive workday for National Trails Day 2019!

Thank you to all of our partners and sponsors! REI, San Francisco Urban Riders, Bay Area Ridge Trail, Fort Point Beer, The Urban Farmer Store, and Pease Press.

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