The Trail Companion
December 1996/January 1997
Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!
1996 has been a busy year here at the Trail Center.
Happy New Year to All!
Comings and goings...
We bid farewell to our president for the past three
years, Larry MacMillen (see the Trail Center Profile).
He moved to the Sierra foothills this summer, and is
currently enjoying the scenery and tranquillity far
from the madding crowd. With Larry's departure we
gained two new board members, who bring with them fresh
enthusiasm, Judie Corrales and Dea Smith.
This past summer we had a membership drive and you may
have noticed the huge list of new members in our last
newsletter - over 200 new members! Welcome to all and
thank you for caring about protecting and preserving
our local trails.
Our two current trail projects began around the
beginning of the year, and just like 1996, they're both
winding to an end. Stanford University's Jasper Ridge
Biological Preserve and Arguello Park in San Carlos
have provided us with a new experience - bridge and
stair building. Many thanks to all the volunteers who
have helped shape the bridge and trails!
Another major accomplishment was the introduction of
our latest map, Southern Peninsula. This beautiful map
connects the dots between all of the open spaces and
parks from Arastradero Preserve and Castlerock from the
North to South and Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve to
Rancho San Antonio County Park from the West to East.
And for 1997...
Trail projects for the next year potentially include
trails in Arguello (yep, there's a phase II) and San
Mateo. There will be more information as we confirm
details. We will also be continuing work on our next
trail map of the peninsula - call the office if you
want to be involved in the new mapping project.
Every month, there are several meetings in the Bay Area
dealing with open space issues. Some meeting notices
arrive in our office with such a short lead time that
we're unable to mention them in our newsletter. We're
looking into putting these announcements on our
website, which would allow anyone with internet access
to find out about these meetings, attend them, and
become open space advocates.
We plan to have a larger variety of volunteer
opportunities next year. Remember, the Trail Center is
a volunteer-run, non-profit organization. We need
volunteers to continue our work promoting and
preserving nature and our beloved trails. Volunteer
work doesn't necessarily involve working only on the
trails per se, but if you can help out, (writing
articles for our newsletter, photo or video shoots,
barbecue cook-outs, office work, mapping projects,
finance, graphics/artwork, promote nature advocacy,
activity planners, manage Trail Center booths at
festivals, board membership, etc.) our community would
certainly be a better place to live in. If you have
some ideas of what you'd like to see the Trail Center
do or become, please let us know by calling or writing
Trail Center Board
Scott Heeschen, Ben Pease, Darwin Poulos, Geoffrey
Skinner, Craig Beckman, Judie Corrales and Dea Smith
- Skill with the Grill? We need Barbequers to help with
the after-trail-build social cook-outs! Or if you're a
morning person and would like to help with setting up the
coffee and fruits, give us a call.
- WE NEED YOU!!! Gain experience working on web pages
by helping to maintain our Website or if you're the
old-fashioned hard copy type of person, you might
consider helping with editing and producing our
newsletter! Give us a call to gain valuable
RSVP to Holiday Party Now!
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 1996
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Where: PCC Building, 3921 E. Bayshore Road, Palo
- Get your maps for holiday hikes before December
- The Trail Center will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24
through Wednesday, Jan. 1. We will re-open on Thursday,
- We wish Bob Kelly a speedy recovery from heart
- Thank you to Kit Teater for her software
contributions to the Trail Center
- A great gift idea would be the Southern Peninsula
Map. Looking for gift ideas? Here it is!
- Would you like to help patrol trails rather than
build them? A unique opportunity exist with a new trail
easement that connects Pescadero to Big Basin Redwoods.
We need volunteers to patrol the easement which crosses
private property. Call the Trail Center office for a map
of the area.
Tool Party Report
We held our fourth annual Trail Center Tool Party in
Scott Heeschen's driveway and front yard on October 12. We
sharpened tools, tightened loose tool heads, cleaned the
tool trailer, and attracted some attention from Scott's
neighbors. Afterwards we had a barbecue with snacks in
Scott's back yard. The neighbors didn't seem to find this
nearly as interesting.
Thanks to all the
volunteers who worked overtime to get the job finished: Len
Berg, David Crosby, Tom Dargan, Scott Heeschen, Dave Kison,
Pat Oren, Tim Oren, Geoffrey Skinner, Dea Smith, and Boyd
Wise, and special thanks to Sandy Nichols for towing the
tool trailer and to Scott's neighbor Jim for helping us
take the pulaskis apart.
The Trail Center Map Committee has been hard at work
this summer and fall. We mapped the Phleger Estate,
Thornewood and Pulgas Ridge Preserves, Big Canyon and Eaton
Canyon Trails in San Carlos, the Crystal Springs Trail
along Canada Road, and portions of Huddart and Edgewood
This winter we will begin
by mapping Arguello Park in San Carlos, then we will work
through summer mapping the preserves west of Skyline
Boulevard. We will enjoy grand ocean views from the new
Bald Knob Trail in Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve, map
ancient sandstone outcrops and miles of new trails in El
Corte De Madera Preserve, and later in the spring we will
get permits to visit seldom-seen La Honda Creek Preserve.
See the accompany schedule.
Mapping involves little
technical knowledge, which we can teach as you go. We spend
a fair amount of time squinting at compasses and shouting
numbers back and forth, but we also get to sniff the
pine-scented air and study leaf patterns we might not
notice while speeding along the trail. Best of all, unlike
trail building, we don't get into poison oak. We provide
tools; you bring lunch, water, and layered clothing. Join
For further information
call the Trail Center office at (650) 968-7065.
Map Committee Calendar
Arguello Park, San Carlos
Follow the signs to the trail build from San
Sky Londa (NE Corner of Hwys 84
We will meet for 10-15 minutes in front of Kings
Mountain Trading Post for coffee; then drive to the
preserves from here.
* All dates are Saturdays. If you can only join us for the
morning, that's fine too.
|9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
RAIN CANCELS. Call Trail Center if there are questions. Or
call Ben Pease at (415) 221-0487 or Darwin Poulos at (415)
Map Committee co-chairs
Ben Pease and Darwin Poulos thank the many volunteers who
helped in 1996, including Carol and Ralph Eschenbach, Rich
Feldman, Harold Drake, Bill Maney, Noel Relyea, Alan Brown,
Jane Lucero, Giovanna Amarana, Jim Robinson, Sara Krieger,
Geoffrey Skinner, and Harold Sklaar.
Trail Center Profile: Larry MacMillen
Working with Larry MacMillen on the trail was an
educational experience both on the technical aspects of
trail building and on the myriad forms of plant life on the
trail. From founding member, board member, crew leader to
trail builder, Larry held almost every position available
in his fourteen years of membership. Recently, he moved to
retire in Grass Valley, California.
In 1982 Larry, along with
twelve other nature enthusiasts, helped established the
Trail Center. "There were lots of nature conservation
oriented organizations, but the only one that was actually
oriented towards building trails was the Santa Cruz
Mountain Trail Association; they were limited to Castlerock
and Big Basin Area." Thus, the Trail Center began its first
meeting as a non-profit organization to disperse
information about trails and organize volunteers for the
purpose of building trails on the Peninsula.
His love for the outdoors
was forged early on from parents who were avid campers,
hunters, and fishermen. He grew up in Southern California
and spent five summers between high school and college
working for the US Forest Service in the San Gabriel
Mountains as a trail builder and fire fighter. At Stanford,
he majored in architecture and construction management. He
became acquainted with the Bay Area then and concluded
that, "it was a whole lot nicer than Southern Cal."
Although he had been a
member since 1982, it was not until 1987 when he first
became active in the field working on the Stevens Creek
Canyon trail build. He showed up one morning and somehow
everyone found out he had experience trail building with
the US Forest Service. He magnanimously became a crew
leader on the spot! Of course, this was before there was
the formalized Crew Leader Training. In 1989, Larry became
president of the board which he fulfilled until 1996.
His other hobby is
bicycling although he admits, "Since I started hiking and
trail building, bicycling went by the wayside." He met his
wife, Marge 12 years ago when they were both members of a
bicycling club. They enjoy traveling, hiking and camping.
In the Bay Area, his favorite trails include the "complex
of trails up in Skyline which includes Skyline Ridge, Long
Ridge, Peter's Creek and Grizzly Flat -- that whole series
of trails which allows you to see both east and west where
the ocean is on one side and the Bay on the other."
Since its inception, the
Trail Center has worked on 35 miles of trail in the
Peninsula that would not have otherwise existed. Looking
back on fourteen years with the Trail Center Larry
remembers a lot of good trail builds. He expresses
"gratitude towards the volunteers -- trail builders, crew
leaders, board members and our numerous helpers in the
office -- it's a wonderful group; keep up the good work
folks and go out and build those trails!" Thank you,
Faults, Volcanoes and Hawks: Exploring the Ridges
with the new Trail Map of the Southern
Take a hike, a canter or a
spin this month with our new Trail Map of the Southern
Peninsula! This month's exploration will give you sweeping
views of the bay and ocean, take you through four
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD)
preserves, along the Bay Area Ridge Trail and across two
major faults. The roughly 6-mile route, mostly through open
grasslands, is particularly suitable for the cooler months.
By Geoffrey Skinner
Trail Center Events
- Dec. 7: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. Arguello Park Trail Build,
- Dec. 10: 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Trail Center Annual
Christmas Party and Potluck to be held at the Trail
Center PCCF Conference Rooms. Call our office at (650)
968-7065 for more information.
- Dec. 19: 6:30 pm. Board Meeting @ Trail Center
Office, Palo Alto.
- Dec. 25 Merry Christmas!!
- Jan. 1, 1997: Happy New Year!!
- Jan. 11 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. Trail Building, Arguello
Park, San Carlos
- Feb 1: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. Trail Building &
Mapping, Arguello Park, San Carlos
Trail Center. All rights reserved.
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for corrections or comments.