Trail Work Day in Whiting Ranch – May 22, 2017 | Report
SHARE MTB Club
Whiting Ranch Trail Maintenance
Assistance to OC Parks
Cactus Trail – May 22nd, 2017
The SHARE Mountain Bike Club worked with volunteers to assist the OC Parks with trail maintenance in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on May 22nd. The volunteers were made up of members from the SHARE MTB Club, Trail Angels MTB Club, OC Parks Trails Coordination staff, Sage Hill High School staff, and also individuals who enjoy mountain biking and hiking on the trails in Whiting Ranch – they all wanted to come out and help the OC Parks to maintain the trails that they love to ride and hike.
The volunteers helped the Whiting Ranch Park Ranger and maintenance staff to work on the Cactus Trail to address trail damage and the overgrowth of plants as a result of the winter rains. The volunteers were split into 3 different groups with each group focusing on different types of trail work.
• Repair: The top portion of the Cactus Trail had become very rocky and had lost most of the sand that usually filled in the areas surrounding the rocks. As a result, the trail had become very difficult to navigate for both hikers and bikers. One group of volunteers worked with the Park Rangers to create a smooth path down the middle of the wide trail – this was done by using fresh dirt mixed with water that was brought in via the Park Ranger’s trucks.
• Drains: The rain had also caused sand, dirt, and debris to fill the previously installed natural “drains” that had been built on the sides of the trails for the purpose of guiding the water off of the trail into the surrounding wilderness. A few of the volunteers helped to clear the existing drains and create new drains where needed; this will provide a place for future rain to run off of the trail. These drains are key for preventing the formation of channels and ruts on the trail which are caused by a steady flow of water going downhill on the trail.
• Brushing: A third group of volunteers was responsible for trimming any foliage and bushes (called “brushing”) that were encroaching on the trail surface. This helps trail users avoid coming in contact with the plants and also allows for the trail users to stay on the main trail instead of creating new trail surfaces when trying to avoid the plants. This group was able to do brushing on the entire Cactus Trail from top to bottom.
The overall goal of the trail repairs and foliage brushing is to provide trail users with safe and enjoyable trails while at the same time protecting the surrounding wilderness habitat from trail user encroachment.
Thank you to the OC Parks staff and all of the volunteers who came out to help work on the trails!