Proactive Work Across the Valley

September 22, 2022

Did you know that “Shoulder Season” is the perfect time to knock out important trail work? These chilly months bring moisture to the dirt, loosening up the soil while at the same time allowing it to easily bond back together.

“In the warmer months, the ground becomes ‘bullet proof,’” said GVLT Trails Project Manager Lulu Herrera. “It’s impossible to dig in, plus operating heavy machinery in the heat creates a fire hazard.”

Our GVLT Trails Team is racing to complete trail work while the ground is malleable. They have enlisted the help of K2 Ventures, Ted and Shana with Wildwood Trails, hosted a few Community Volunteer events and had several local organizations lend a hand in completing trail work over the last month.

At Drinking Horse Trail, K2 Ventures removed overhanging limbs and laid new gravel in low spots. Community volunteers installed a new map kiosk at the “Y,” and rehabilitated the bike parking area. The Painted Hills Connector trail was rerouted to create a more enjoyable experience for both trail users and adjacent landowners. At Painted Hills, it can be a battle to keep the trail as narrow, single track due to a lack of sloping. Wildwood Trails went in with a mini excavator and debraided some social trails, returning the trail to its original, narrow form.

“We understand that some people will use the trails regardless of how muddy it is,” Lulu said. “We just ask that folks stay on the trail and walk through the mud. It prevents erosion and the spread of invasive weeds. Debraiding and revegetating around trails is labor intensive and costly work.”

Currently, the Trails Team is working overtime to prepare Triple Tree for the upcoming mud season. So far, Wildwood Trails has helped rework the trail tread and created rolling drain dips to try to move water off the trail during the wet season. In the coming weeks, we hope to install turnpikes to elevate the trail in low lying areas. Lulu also noted that the switchbacks have become rutted from intense use. Volunteers will work to re-establish the trail tread on the switchbacks and discourage switchback cutting.

“We try to take a proactive approach to our trail work,” Lulu said. “We want to get ahead of the curve with some of the problems we’ve seen on the trails and prevent them from happening. Triple Tree is such a hub for activity – it’s a great before-work or after-work trail. We know it gets used all year round so we want to keep it in tip top shape.”

We are so grateful for the work of our volunteers and partner organizations that help keep our trails in great shape. None of this would be possible without your help.

“Next stop, Highland Glen!” Lulu said.