Leacock Trail, May 25, 2019
Trails generally don't maintain themselves. If enough people travel them, they tend to keep a six inch wide path, but weeds continually encroach, and tree trunks fall over them, and rains cause little slides to wash mounds of dirt onto them.
People tend to presume that the Forest Service maintains trails, but . . . the truth is that there are not enough rangers to cover even a tiny fraction of them. Most trails are maintained by various volunteer groups of people who usually also hike the trails.
Leacock Trail, May 25, 2019
The Los Angeles Sierra Club currently has two trail maintenance groups, one in the Santa Monica Mountains associated with the Santa Monica Mountains Taskforce (SMMTF) and one in the San Gabriel Mountains associated with the Forest Committee. Both groups generally work on the weekends -- Saturday or Sunday. The Santa Monica group ended its spring season cleaning up the Garapito Trail from Top of Reseda to Eagle Rock in Topanga. The San Gabriel trail crew has worked recently on the Gabrielino trail from Red Box eastward, between the Valley Forge and the West Fork and Kenyon Devore camps. They have also worked over the last year on the Valley Forge trail from Eaton Saddle down to the Gabrielino trail. In the past, they have worked on the Strawberry Peak and the Kenyon Devore (formerly Rattlesnake) trails.
Two-man cross-cut saw
The difference is the size of their saws. The Santa Monica group has prunning saws to enable them to cut shrub branches that grow into chaparral trails. The San Gabriel group has two-man crosscut saws for use in wilderness parts of the San Gabriel forest where machinery is not allowed and large trees commonly fall across trails. Other than that, they probably use many of the same tools, like Pulaskis (a combination axe and adze) and McLeods (a combination fire hoe/rake named after the ranger who invented it).
Santa Monica Mountains Task Force Trail Crew
The Santa Monica Mountains Task Force trail crew can be contacted here:
- Rachel Glegg: email@example.com
- Bill Vanderberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Russ Marshall: email@example.com
Ask them to put you on their "Trailies" email list if you wish to be informed of weekly trail maintenance events, since locations can change depending on work flow. Trail work is normally on Saturdays. Events can be found on the Angeles Chapter activities listing under the group "Angeles Chp SMMTF Subcom" and the search term "Trail Work". Because of the summer heat, Santa Monica Mountains trail work takes a three-month break from the end of June to the beginning of October.
San Gabriel Mountains trail crew
The San Gabriel Mountains trail crew can be contacted here:
Ask them to put you on their current email list, since locations of trail work can change due to work flow. Activity dates can be found on the Angeles Chapter activities listing under the group "Angeles Chp Forest Comm" and the search term "trail". The San Gabriel Mountains trail crew works in and around the Mount Wilson area the second Saturday of the month.
Caption: The Forest Committee led by trails veteran Don Bremner working in the San Gabriel Mountains.