Updated: Jan 20
Another successful Ridge Trail Day behind us. Thank you to our partners Bay Area Ridge Trail and REI, and all the volunteers for a great day!
For this year’s Ridge Trail Day, our trail projects focused on the East Ridge and Mystery Trails. Craig also led a small group in contributing to the ongoing work at the Clarendon Trailhead. They placed granite pieces and further defined the seating area.
On the East Ridge, we continued our efforts from National Trails Day in June and Dirt, Sweat, and Beers in August. Mark led a crew on the Upper East Ridge redefining a section of trail that had widened significantly and lost some of its drainage features. This crew was digging in tough rocky soil and embedding logs in place to define the trail and scrape out the off-trail drainage.
Embedded logs act to provide a both a visual and physical guide to the flow of the trail.
Just down the hill, Rez and John led volunteers in sprucing up the Mystery Trail. Given the steep hillside, this is a section that accumulates slough (loose dirt and rock from uphill). Between raking the mass of leaves deposited by recent high winds, trimming back plants that crept into the trail corridor, and removing the slough, this crew was busy all day and made big improvements along the entire length of the Mystery Trail.
Some annual maintenance really opens up the full trail width.
Continuing the raking efforts from the Mystery Trail, Bob led a crew on the North Ridge, tackling the leaf litter and clearing out some the critical drains further up that tend to collect debris. With just a crew of three, they covered the length of the North Ridge with some timely annual maintenance.
Further down on the East Ridge, Ben led a crew in tackling an eroded switchback. The biggest challenge here was finding good building material to provide an anchor on the downhill edge. After some searching and a lot of muscle, they were able to locate a number of suitable logs to act as a retaining wall for this corner. Like many of our switchback construction efforts, this crew did the foundation work that future crews will build on.
Just one of several big logs moved into place for this corner.
Our last crew, led by Mike, worked at the site of a large rock retaining wall that was damaged during the tree removal that took place last winter. The crew carefully recovered displaced rock and exposed the existing retaining wall, which was covered by debris. Given the erosion that’s taken place in this location, there are plans to realign the trail. Recovering these great building materials will be important during future efforts and helps us to better understand the underlying terrain.
A big effort to recover these large rocks and clear the unwanted debris out of the way.
Finally, on the Clarendon trail the habitat crew removed many tarp loads of nasturtium and Himalayan blackberry from a restoration site. Re-opening the site for native plants planted in the previous years to flourish. Volunteers hauled out 150 cubic feet of weeds.
All in all, a lot of hard work made for a very productive day on the trails!