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Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!


Tool Party Report


Trail Center Profile:Larry MacMillen

Faults, Volcanoes and Hawks: Exploring the Ridges with the New Trail Map of the Southern Peninsula

Trail Center Events

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.

  • 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.
  • New Members...

    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.
  • Accomplishments...

    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.
  • Advocacy...

    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.
  • More Activities...

    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 the office.
Happy New Year to All!

     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 experience.
  • RSVP to Holiday Party Now!
    Date: Tuesday, December 10, 1996
    Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
    Where: PCC Building, 3921 E. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto.
  • Get your maps for holiday hikes before December 20!
  • The Trail Center will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. We will re-open on Thursday, Jan. 2.
  • We wish Bob Kelly a speedy recovery from heart surgery.
  • 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.

Richard Allsop




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 Parks.


     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 us!

     For further information call the Trail Center office at (650) 968-7065.


Map Committee Calendar

Winter/Spring 1997
Arguello Park, San Carlos
Follow the signs to the trail build from San Carlos Ave.
Feb 1 9:00 - 3:00*
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.
Feb. 22
Mar. 15
Apr. 19
May 24
Jun 21
July 26
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
9:00 - 2:00*
* All dates are Saturdays. If you can only join us for the morning, that's fine too.

RAIN CANCELS. Call Trail Center if there are questions. Or call Ben Pease at (415) 221-0487 or Darwin Poulos at (415) 428-0832.


     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, Larry.

Judie Corrales


Faults, Volcanoes and Hawks: Exploring the Ridges with the new Trail Map of the Southern Peninsula


     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, San Carlos.
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



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