On Saturday, March 24, sixty-nine volunteers and several Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) rangers worked together to build 0.4 miles of a new 0.63-mile long singletrack, multi-use segment of the Canyon Overlook Trail.
The new trail in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks starts at the Mesa Trail, passes below Lizard Rock and connects to an existing gas pipeline access road. This area was volcanic and the hillside is steep and quite rugged and rocky.
After registering at the meeting area, the workday started with a noticibly steep 0.8-mile climb up the utility road to get to the work area. Fortunately the COSCA rangers had driven the tools up to the top so we didn’t have to carry them. We were especially grateful not to have to carry up the six rock bars we used!
At the top, we collected our tools and listened to the standard safety training and proper tool use instructions for a few minutes before breaking into groups of about ten and heading out to build the new trail. Each group had an experienced trail crew leader to guide the volunteers on what should be done.
The brush had been cut from the trail corridor a few days earlier, so all we had to do was to dig out the slope to make a nearly level trail about 3 – 4 feet wide, gently outsloped so rain water would run off it. Much of the hillside was dirt so work went quickly there, but there were also sections with large rocks that took some effort to dislodge, and even larger rocks that were too much for hand labor. Rangers will go through again over the next few weeks with jackhammers to remove the more stubborn rocks.
After about three hours of work, we headed back down to a barbecue feast prepared by the COSCA rangers. The burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers, with all the condiments, were delicious! After eating, the CORBA volunteers took part in their usual drawing for mountain biking swag. Everyone won something!
With such a large turnout of volunteers, we were able to complete about two-thirds of the new trail, a little more than what the organizers had expected. Nevertheless, this means that about a third of the trail remains to be completed. Even so, because the brush has been cut down, it’s easy to follow while hiking and probably even on a mountain bike since the cross-slope is mostly relatively gentle. However, the whole trail will provide technical challenges for all mountain bikers, even when finished, because of the rocky nature of the terrain. With the new trail, Wildwood Park is now connected by trail to the Conejo Canyons open space area and to the Santa Rosa Valley in general This will be a welcome addition to the collection of multi-use singletrack trails in Thousand Oaks!
You can view the photos of this trailwork day in our photo gallery.