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Summer 1999 - Summary

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The Trail Companion (ISSN 1528-0241 (print); 1094-222X (online)) is the quarterly newsletter of the Trail Center.

Editor: Scott Heeschen
Staff Writer: Geoffrey Skinner
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Trail Center
3921 E. Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Ph.: (650) 968-7065
info@trailcenter.org

The Trail Companion

Summer 1999

Trail Notes

California Trails Day at Arastradero Preserve

      Our 1999 California Trail Days project with Bay Area Action brought out fifty volunteers, including large contingents from BAA and the Stanford Cycling Team. Over California Trails Day and one subsequent workday, we cleared thistles and rebuilt a large stretch of the Perimeter Trail, making it a good trail for all trail users.
      The Trail Center is helping BAA to plan trail work for the next three years, including several potential reroutes and restoration projects in the southeastern portion of the preserve.


Celebrating National Trails Day at Castle Rock

      Trail Center crews joined thousands of volunteers across the country in celebrating National Trails Day on June 5th. The national event, organized by the American Hiking Society, featured projects ranging from hikes to trails census projects, restoration work to cleanups, theater on the trail to basic trail work. Our own fell into the last category as we opened up the first section of our Castle Rock Trail reroute at Castle Rock State Park with the help of Any Mountain Ltd.
      After our last workday preceding the event (May 22nd), the old trail was still open and the ends of the new trail didn't connect with anything yet. A small group of volunteers (mostly crew leaders and trainees) had worked hard to complete technically difficult sections before National Trails Day, including a massive rock wall and a set of eight steps. Although the steps weren't quite finished because we broke the head off our only sledge hammer by trying to drive a foundation stake through solid sandstone, we were ready for the forty-plus volunteers who turned out for NTD.
      The enthusiasm of the NTD crew exceeded our expectations as we put the finishing touches on the new trail, building over 200 feet of tread, and closed the old trail. We put extra effort into stopping erosion on the old trail and covering it with natural materials so that nature would take its course in healing the scars. We celebrated with a gala ribbon cutting, followed by a BBQ party at the Partridge Farm area. Any Mountain was kind enough to donate sunglasses, sunscreen, and raffle prizes. Noah's Bagels in Palo Alto donated bagels, and anonymous Trail Center members donated the BBQ items and other food. Everyone was pleased with the event and we look forward to working with Any Mountain for future National Trails Day events.
      Construction began on the second part of the project on June 26th and will continue through the summer. We expect the section to go more quickly than the first because we should not have to build as many rock walls (roughly half the distance of the first section is walled!), though we may be surprised by what we uncover as we clear and dig!


Other Trail Center projects

     

     Jasper Ridge, Stanford University: Winter storms once more brought a load of fresh silt down Corte Madera Creek toward Searsville Lake. Last year's storms piled several feet of silt across the flood plain and into the lake, reducing its size severely. The creek itself shifted dramatically in 1997/1998 and began to flow near Trail 12 (Mapache Trail), site of our 1995-1997 work. This winter's storms caused it to flood and wash away part of Trail 12. We expect to install another bridge to make the trail passable once more.
      Parker Ranch, Saratoga: Although our contract with the City of Saratoga was terminated before we had completed all our planned work, we will likely return to Parker Ranch in the future. The work on the Diamond Oaks/Star Ridge Court Trail has held up well under winter weather and has received high marks from the residents of Parker Ranch.
      Almaden-Quicksilver County Park: Trail Center surveyors flagged a reroute of the very steep Prospect #3 Trail between the Randol and Mine Hill Trails at the end of March. The existing trail was too steep for most equestrians and many hikers, in addition to being erosion-prone. The new route is nearly three times as long, but is a much easier hike or ride. San Jose Conservation Corps members brushed the new route in April. Santa Clara County Parks constructed the new route with their trail machine and will put on the finishing touches this summer.
      We will flag additional reroutes in the park this summer, including an extension of the Prospect # 3 trail between Randol and New Almaden Trails. A volunteer trail currently links the two trails (not shown on maps), but is too steep to be designated as an official trail. The new trail will allow hikers and equestrians to make a great mid-point loop. We will also survey a reroute of the Mockingbird Trail, another steep path.
      Although we are not currently scheduling any trail work in the park, Trail Center volunteers may have the opportunity to work on one or more of these projects.
      Ridge Trail, Sanborn-Skyline County Park: We may yet have a chance to use several thousand dollars of Ride-for-the-Ridge money for Ridge Trail design and construction in Sanborn-Skyline County Park between Skyline Boulevard and Black Road. Preliminary surveys took place nearly ten years ago, but nothing else happened while the trails element of the Santa Clara County General Plan waited for approval. Santa Clara County Parks staff assured us they would push for action on this project.
      Further information on most of these projects can be found in the Trail Building section of the Trail Center website. If you have recently visited the site of one of the many past Trail Center projects and have information on current conditions, please send e-mail to info@trailcenter.org or call 650 968-7065.





     
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