Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Trail Work | Success!
The SHARE Mountain Bike Club worked with volunteers to assist the OC Parks with trail maintenance in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on February 12th.
The volunteers helped the Whiting Ranch Park Rangers to repair the middle and bottom sections of the Sleepy Hollow Trail. These portions of the trail were filled with ruts, large bumps, and had many areas where the tree roots had become exposed. Because of these obstacles on the trail, the users naturally started moving to the outside of the trail to avoid the hazards – this resulted in the trail being widened and the surrounding wilderness habitat being affected. The volunteers spent the morning smoothing out the bumps, and filling in the ruts, dips and the areas around the tree roots with dirt brought in by the park rangers. In addition, the trail was narrowed by using natural features to define the trail – i.e., rocks and large branches and logs were used to both cover up the area of the trail that was not supposed to be used and also to outline the part of the trail that should be used by the trail users.
One main goal of the trail work was to install natural drains by creating side channels for the water to be guided off of the trail and into the surrounding wilderness – this helps prevent soil erosion and the creation of ruts and channels on the trails. Another goal was to create alternating high and low point small berms to help with the flow of the trail, both for the “fun factor” for bike riders and also for the purpose of decreasing the speed of the bike (which allows for better control and less use of the bike brakes).
The upper portion of the Sleepy Hollow Trail had been addressed a few months prior, and has held up well to the continued use by hikers, bikers, and equestrians. This section of the trail also responded well to the rains as a result of the installation of water runoff channels that directed the water flow off the trail.
Thank you to the OC Parks staff and all of the volunteers who came out to help on the Sleepy Hollow Trail – the improvements and enhancements are great!