Fall Volunteer Trailwork Opportunities – Santa Monica Mountains

October 5th, 2019

As a trail enthusiast, we hope you’ll be able to help us out during our fall trail work program! We have four events scheduled between now and the new year. At all these events, lunch will be provided to volunteers as a way to thank you for helping!

The first event is the Annual Fall Conejo Open Space Trail Work Day, taking place on Saturday October 19th at 7:30 pm. In years past we’ve had turnouts of over 150 people to this event, but recently the numbers have been dwindling. We hope you’ll be able to help us have a really good turnout so we can get lots of trails fixed up!

This year we’ll be fixing up trails damaged in the Hill Fire last November and then by the heavy winter rains.

Please help us plan for the the amount of trails we can fix up and prepare for the coming winter rain by signing up in advance online at https://cosf.org/events/register/ . And you can find more details here https://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/265216169/

Remember, at noon the volunteers will be treated to a lunch and prize-giveaway!

Subsequent work days will be on

We hope you’ll be able to join us for one or more of these work days. It’s only through volunteer help that we can repair trails from fire and rain damage to keep them in great shape for riding!

Help restore trails in the Conejo Canyons during the 2019 Fall Trail Work Day on October 19

October 3rd, 2019

Join CORBA, SMMTC, COSCA and other volunteer groups to work on the Conejo Open Space trails in Thousand Oaks.

This year we’ll be repairing and doing preventative maintenance on trails in the Conejo Canyons / Western Plateau area that were damaged last November by the Hill Fire and then subsequent winter rains.

We’ll also be celebrating the re-opening of the Hill Canyon Bridge that was severely damaged by the Hill Fire.

There will be a thank you lunch and prize drawings at noon after the work. This is a great event with lots of like-minded folks to help out. If you use the trails in Thousand Oaks, come out and help build and maintain them! No prior experience is necessary and all volunteers work at their own pace, taking plenty of time to rest and chat with other trail enthusiasts!

This annual Conejo Valley event always helps to put some very sweet trails into good shape. Be sure to stay afterwards for the free lunch and prize give-away.

Registration starts at 7:30 am on Saturday October 19 at the Santa Rosa Valley Park (use this Google Map to find your way), and crews assemble and head to the work sites at 8:00 am.

Please help us by signing up online in advance to we’ll know how many people to prepare for – Thanks!

Things to bring:

• work gloves
• long pants and long sleeved shirt
• water, snack
• sunglasses and sunblock

Tools and instructions on how to use them safely will be provided. There will be a free thank-you lunch and prize give-away afterwards from noon until about 2:00 pm.

Remember to sign up online!

Glendora Seeks Public Input on Little Dalton Wash Multi-Use Urban Trail

September 24th, 2019

The City of Glendora invites you to a public workshop held in conjunction with a proposed grant application to the California Natural Resources Agency under Proposition 68.  The City is proposing to submit an application for the Little Dalton Wash. The project would construct a bike/pedestrian path similar to the existing Glendora Urban Trail and extend from Finkbiner Park to just south of the spreading grounds near Glendora Mountain Road. The City will be holding a workshop to solicit input and feedback on this exciting opportunity to create and enhance open space, trail connectivity, and recreational opportunities for Glendora, on Monday, Sep 30th.

CORBA supports the proposal, and we encourage everyone with an interest in the Colby trail, the city of Glendora, and its urban trail system to participate in the public meeting:

Little Dalton Wash Meeting
Monday, September 30, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Bidwell Forum, 140 S. Glendora Ave, Glendora, CA

 

National Park Service lifts ban on E-Bikes

August 30th, 2019

Today, August 30, 2019, the National Park Service has released a revised policy on electric pedal-assist mountain bikes.

The new policy allows electric pedal-assist bicycles to be used wherever muscle-powered bicycles are allowed. The policy requires each National Park unit to update their park compendium within 30 days. The policy allows Park Superintendents the flexibility to close or open trails to pedal-assist bicycles as deemed appropriate for park management, resource protection, or other reasons.

The policy prohibits class 2 throttle-controlled electric bikes from being used unless in pedal-assist mode only.  Class 3 electric bicycles remain prohibited.

While this policy allows the NPS to open trails to e-bikes, we don’t expect all trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to be immediately opened. The SMMNRA is a joint powers authority, and this policy doesn’t affect trails outside NPS boundaries, such as trails on California State Parks or Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority managed lands.

CORBA has remained neutral in the electric mountain bike debate, as we recognize there are both potential drawbacks and benefits from allowing their use. As local policies are updated, we’ll post here and on social media.

Here is the policy announcement: NPS E-bike policy-PM_19-01

 

Station Fire 10 Years Later

August 27th, 2019
Ten years ago today, CORBA’s trail crew set out to do trailwork on Sunset Ridge trail in the Angeles National Forest. When I arrived at the chaney trail gate, it was closed. I rode up to Millard, from where I could see that a fire was burning in the Arroyo Seco Canyon, on the western flank of Mt. Lukens. We cancelled CORBA trailwork for the day, while I rode Sunset Ridge and El Prieto for what would be the last time in several years. The Station Fire burned for 50 days, until it was essentially extinguished by the first rains of the El Nino winter season in October. Over 160,000 acres burned, including most of our favorite trails. 
 
This changed my life, and changed CORBA’s focus. Trails were closed with no indication of how much destruction there would be. Torrential rains over the next few months dealt a blow to the barren, burned earth. CORBA began focussing on rebuilding trails that had been damaged by the Station Fire.
 
Over the course of the next nine years, CORBA switched gears to begin rebuilding trails. Sam Merrill trail was our first volunteer work day a year after the fire. We had 70 volunteers show up, many of whom just wanted to get into the closed Forest and see the destruction first hand.
 
CORBA, working in tandem with other groups, restored: El Prieto, Brown Mountain, Sunset Ridge, Sam Merrill Trail, Rim Trail, Gabrielino Trail (Redbox-Switzers), Silver Moccasin Trail, Colby Canyon Trail, Strawberry Peak trail, Upper Brown Mountain fire road, Ken Burton trail, Mt. Hillyer trail, Doc Larson Trail, Rattlesnake Trail, Fascination Springs Trail, Vetter Mountain Trail, Charlton Connector, Silver Moccasin trail and others. We had tremendous support from the community, with grants from REI and Edison International. More than 10,000 volunteer hours were recorded.
 
A year ago CORBA and MWBA re-opened the last trail still closed because of the Station Fire. The Gabrielino National Recreation Trail. Since then, we have restored the Los Pinetos Trail (closed due to the Sand Fire), and have begun work on Woolsey Fire restoration efforts in the Santa Monica Mountains.
 
In the aftermath of the Station Fire, many in the mountain biking community gave back to get trails reopened for which we are truly appreciative. In that time the sport has grown, there are more people than ever using the trails, and the need for continued volunteerism and efforts to maintain our public lands is growing.
 
Thank you to the mountain biking community and the trails community at large for giving back to our trails over these last ten years. Let’s keep up the momentum as we look forward to maintaining the trails we’ve restored and ensuring we all have places to ride our bicycles and connect with our public lands.

Los Pinetos Trailwork with SCVTU and LA County

August 12th, 2019

New LA County Trail SignageOn Saturday, August 10, 30 volunteers converged on Walker Ranch in Santa Clarita to put some finishing touches on the Los Pinetos trail. We were also joined by 6 LA County Parks department staff.

Originally scheduled for earlier in Spring this year, a few weeks ago LA County’s trail maintenance staff finally were able to work on Los Pinetos trail. As an agency, LA County doesn’t have a volunteer program tailored for doing trailwork. Instead, their staff runs trail dozers and do what appears to be a single-pass scraping of the trail, without paying any attention to drainage, outslope, or other sustainability features that the County’s own trail’s manual calls for.

This has led to much disappointment from the trails community in the County’s approach to maintaining their celebrated trails. Many, including Los Pinetos, are not sustainably aligned, and/or lack the suitable infrastructure to improve their sustainability.

The Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users, a committee of CORBA dedicated to the SCV and surrounding areas, have been busy building and maintaining City of Santa Clarita trails in East Walker Ranch and Golden Valley Ranch. This was their first opportunity to do trailwork with LA County and the USFS. Los Pinetos trail is a County-managed trail, partially on National Forest land, and partially on County-managed State Park land, which required additional coordination between the agencies.

Machine work has deepened the tread to the point where this county-installed culvert is now completely useless, showing the size of the berm created by machines.

The machine-work done on the trail by LA County’s mechanized trail crew left no drainage and a water-trapping berm that would ensure the trail becomes eroded and rutted with the next rains.  In fact, they bladed over existing drainage such as the failed the culvert pictured above. About 20 Volunteers constructed more than 20 drains on the first mile of the trail from the bottom. Meanwhile, a second crew were shuttled to the top of the trail by LA County staff, and cut back overgrown brush on the upper mile or so of trail.

Constructing a rolling-grade dip drain

Constructing a rolling-grade dip drain

While our goal had been to remove the berm and outslope the trail where possible, the depth and extent of the machine work made removing the berm by hand nearly impossible, and certainly not feasible for a one-day volunteer event. Instead we installed drains, rolling grade dips and nicks where feasible, every hundred feet or so. The upper crews brushed more than a mile of trail, where treadwork was not really needed.

LA County Parks Staff remove the fence at the trailhead, opening the trail

LA County Parks Staff remove the fence at the trailhead, opening the trail

By the end of the day, the 30 volunteers and 6 County staff put in four solid hours of trailwork, for approximately 216 volunteer hours.  In 90 degree heat and direct sun. At about noon the County staff pulled the trail closed notice and fencing from the trailhead at Walker Ranch. The trail is now officially open after three years of closure following the Sand Fire.

We thank LA County, the USFS, and the dedicated volunteer crews of the SCVTU for helping advocate for and participate in the restoration of this trail.  Currently our plan is to return to the trail in the fall, to improve the drains created and add a more in time for winter.

There remains one large downed oak tree at the last switchback near the bottom. The County crews will remove the tree this week.

Climbing 3N17 “the beast,” and descending Los Pinetos is now possible. To ride the loop, you’ll have to ride Placerita Canyon road back to the start for now. The Canyon trail is scheduled for reconstruction by LA County crews this fall. Stay tuned for updates.

The trail is popular with hikers, (and will be more popular when the Canyon trail is reopened). We encourage descending cyclists to use bells and common courtesy towards those hiking on or riding up the trail.

 

 

 

Enjoying a post-trailwork lunch

August Skills Clinic photos posted August 4

August 4th, 2019

There were only three participants in this month’s Skills Clinic on a hot day in the park.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our August photo gallery.

July Skills Clinic photos posted July 26th

July 26th, 2019

There were only two participants in this month’s Skills Clinic. Graham again took over as photographer, and in fact, has taken over from Steve for the time being.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our July photo gallery.

Sullivan Canyon Closure Update: 6/24/2019 – 8/2/2019

June 19th, 2019

Following our previous report we have received an updated from SoCalGas. Here are the new details:

 

Sullivan Canyon Temporary Closure:

6/24/2019 – 8/2/2019 Pipeline Exposure Remediation

-South side (Queensferry Entrance) will be open during construction

-The location of the exposure is on the map (approx. middle of the canyon)

-Project site will NOT allow hikers, bikers, and runners to pass.

-The maintenance crew will be using the North Entrance to access the site.

-Between the North Entrance and the project site, the canyon will be inaccessible. However, from the South Side (Queensferry Road) everyone will be able to access the canyon until the project site.

Sullivan Canyon to Close for Maintenance 6/3 – 7/12

May 16th, 2019

SoCal GasSoCalGas has two upcoming projects in Sullivan Canyon. This trail is popular for mountain bikers, and we want the public to be aware that upcoming maintenance projects will impact public use of the trail.

The popular Sullivan Canyon trail is on land owned by SoCalGas. The old road along the canyon bottom is a service road for the gas company to access gas transmission pipelines that run underground through Sullivan Canyon to cross the Santa Monica Mountains.  SoCalGas is gracious enough to allow public use of their land and the trail through it, except when they need work on the roadbed, trail or pipeline. This is a temporary closure, and we ask that all trail users respect it.

5/17/2019 – 5/31/2019 Sullivan Canyon Open during Brush clearance (watch for maintenance workers): Crews will clear vegetation along the canyon from the Queensferry entrance to Mullholland. They will clear the vegetation along the roadway toward the bottom of the canyon. Their focus will be on the North Side of the roadway. Please use caution as you pass construction equipment, and we recommend keeping dogs on a leash so they are not harmed by equipment as well.

  • The canyon will be fully open.
  • Minor impact to walkers, bikers, runners, etc. They will need to slow down for the landscape crews.
  • We will have signs up at both ends of the work area warning of the work taking place.
  • LMI (Landscape Maintenance Inc), our contractor, will be accessing the canyon from Queensferry entrance on the South side.

6/3/2019 – 7/12/2019 Sullivan Canyon Closed for Pipeline Exposure Remediation:  Heavy equipment will be brought in and staged on site. Signs will be placed at each end of the closed area. 

  • -South side (Queensferry Entrance) will be open during construction
  • -The location of the exposure is on the map (approx. middle of the canyon)
  • -Project site will NOT allow walkers, bikers, and runners to pass.
  • -Crew will be using the North Entrance to access the site.
  • -Between the North Entrance and the project site, the canyon will be inaccessible. However, from the South Side (Queensferry Road) everyone will be able to access the canyon up to the work area.

If there are any changes to the schedule, we’ll post them here and on our social media. For the latest information, you can contact SoCalGas Public Affairs Manager, Mike Harriel at 213 244-4633.