Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Trails - Oats Peak reroute (Montaña de Oro)

Please be patient!!! 

We've gotten lots of questions from hikers, cyclists and equestrians about if and when it will be OK to use the new Oates Peak and Bebe Trails. Here is the scoop.

1. 4.5 miles of trail have been completed.  Basically the upper 2/3s of the system.

2. 2.5 miles remain to be built: one section of Oates Peak Trail  (from Reservoir Flats up for about 1.4 miles); and, the bottom mile of the hikers only Valencia Peak Trail (from the pavement/parking to the intersection with Badger Trail where Valencia gets really steep).

3. Zachi will be back in Feb/March 2013 to complete the last 2.5 miles.

4. The trail needs to weather/harden this winter and the 2013/14 winter.

5. All the reroutes will be open in the spring of 2014 (15 months from now).

6. The agreement with Parks and the other user groups represented on the Parks Trails Committee is that when the entire trail project is completed and signs installed, Oates, Bebe and Reservoir Flats Trails will be opened to cyclists.  That means Feb/March 2014.

7. All the other trails south of Islay Creek remain illegal for cyclists (e.g. Coon Creek, Rattlesnake, Badger, Valencia).

8. Hikers are allowed on the newly constructed trails NOW.  We are having a problem with vegetation regrowing back up in the new trail tread when it sits for a season.  We are hoping that foot traffic will elliminate some of that growth.  Also hikers won't walk on the two sensitive parts of the tread which we need to protect - the outside edge and the banked turns.

9. Equestrians are NOT allowed on the new trails until they open in spring 2014.   Horses generally walk on the outside edge of a trail.  If horses are taken on the newly constructed trails they will collapse the outer 1/3rd.  The picture below illustrates our reasoning.  If you look carefully you will see that this is a 2/3rds bench cut trail, meaning that only 2/3s of it is on mineral soil and the outside 1/3rd is fill.  Zachi's tracked machines can't compress the outer-most edge so it remains VERY soft.  That outer edge will harden with the rains - provided horses don't walk on it.

10. Cyclists (who aren't suppose to be there anyway!) MUST stay off the new trails until they open in spring 2014.  First of all, poaching is illegal, it jeopardizes our access and it legitimately pisses off Parks and other trail users.  Please be patient!  Second, bikes will destroy the banked turns that we've built to protect switchbacks and other turns.  If you check out the second picture you will see that the bottom 2/3rds of the 3 foot banked turn is fill taken from the top 1/3rd.  I can assure you that the fill dirt is VERY soft.  We've tamped down the banked turns but unfortunately it is the usual crappy MdO soil and when I made the mistake of walking over one the other day it literally collapsed.  Riding these banked turns before they harden will destroy them and make the trail much less fun to ride when it is open to cyclist.

2/3 bench cut trail
Banked turns at upper right

New Trails - Irish Hills / Froom Ranch to Johnson Ranch connector (City of SLO)

As you probably know the NEW trial from Irish Hills / Froom Creek to Johnson Ranch has been roughed in BUT it is NOT open yet.
Ranger Doug from City of San Luis Obispo Parks & Rec. said we have a list of other things needing to be completed like fixing the road, cattle guards and fences and gates and oh yeah finishing the actual trail before it is open for use.  The projected opening will be after the winter rains.
Please help CCCMB and SLO Parks & Rec spread the word that the new trail is not open yet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maybe now?

Just a quick refresh.  The rain did not really get here like a normal winter, so it has been dry, too dry!  Now we see rain in the forecast, so please take care of the trails, give them a break in the rain and do not use them.  Check the previous post about places to ride in the rain.  The trails will thank you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rain Rides

Now that the rains have come, please know that riding them in the rain damages them, please understand that and protect our wonderful trails by giving them time to dry.

Here are alternatives.

If you like riding in the driving rain, the roads that run along the top of East and West Cuesta Ridge can handle mountain bikes while wet. Fernandez Trail and other trails near Pozo also can be ridden in or soon after rain. The Black Hill trails and most of the Montaña de Oro trails can handle bikes if we've only received a few hours of rain, EXCEPT the back of East Boundary, past Barranca to Islay Creek Road: it WILL be muddy, please don't ride there.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Manzanita Trail erosion control (Montaña de Oro)

More work to keep Manzanita Trail at Montaña de Oro from sliding off into Hazard Creek and being closed.

Some T-posts, old chain-link fencing, landscape cloth, plenty of rocks and a little brush on top to hide it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Manzanita Trail adjustment 2 (Montaña de Oro)

We did another minor trail adjustment today on Manzanita at Montaña de Oro.

The trail was out on the right side, mere inches from the area that is unstable and sliding away.

This old steep trail was originally a ranch road and feeds water off to a steep bank causing erosion that wants to undercut the trail.

We moved the trail tread over about two feet away from the drop off.  In the next few weeks we will be using some stakes and materials to shore up the worst erosion to protect the trail.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Change is coming! Rain's in the forecast. Woo hoo.

Well, things are about to change..... 

There are two weather events moving this way, so it appears that we will start the transition from trails like this.

Dry, dusty, loose, with that chain eating, bearing destroying dust that gets into everything, even your Gu packets. 

(Well maybe not quite THAT bad......)

  .... to the moist, packed trails like this! 

What that means is that this Trails Update site will become active, and there will be real trail information to post, instead of the benefits of eating dust.  Please note that you can subscribe to updates via RSS feed or email in the right hand column.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guns & Shooting on West Cuesta

There were two more reported incidents of guns being fired, apparently illegally, and potentially endangering cyclists and hikers, on West Cuesta ridge last weekend.  This is United States Forest Service property and the Los Padres National Forest states explicitly that target shooting is prohibited. (link)

Hunting during hunting season is legal. (link)

CA Department of Fish and Game Seasons and Regulations. (link)

If you encounter someone shooting, here is where to call:
USFS Office in Santa Maria - weekdays 805-925-9538
USFS Dispatch 805-938-9142 ext 0 - usually 7:30 am to 6:00 pm
24 Hour On Call Dispatch 805-961-5727
911 Emergency - SLO County Sheriff

Be safe!
CCCMB Trail Updates