Trail widening of Heaton Flats

Things were still covered in too much snow within the Crystal Lake Recreation Area and the surrounding ridge lines so today the Trailbuilders returned to Heaton Flats off of the East Fork, widening the trail in some places, cutting back brush in others, uprooting the Yerba Santa plants along the way, and filling in trenches along the trail created by running water.

And what fun it was, too! The day began cool and with cloud cover from time to time the day's trail repair efforts managed to reach all the way up to the first saddle.

One of the major goals for the day was to fill in the deepening trenches that the heavy rains have been creating in some parts of the trail, and to knock off berms that retain water and to provide drainage so that the work we did today would last through the approaching Summer season and need only light touch-up work after the next rainy season.

One of the day's volunteers was Sakul from India who came all the way just to lend a hand, LOL! Perhaps he will return to continue volunteering along Windy Gap Trail now that most of the snow has melted up there.

Filling in the trenches basically consisted of pulling off the dirt that accumulates up against the hillside along the trail, raking it in to the trench with the McLeod tool, packing it down and then working up-slope to create drains so that the coming rains will moisten and compact the dirt more but excess water will flow off of the trail rather than down it.

Next year when the Trailbuilders return, we will get to see just how well our work survived!

* The daily safety meeting before work begins
* McLeod used to clear the trail and to widen
* About 200 feet were cleared in about 20 minutes
* The dirt here was moist enough that good progress could be made
* The first water crossing
* A Trailbuilder volunteer pauses for a photograph
* Some people step daintly across, others plunge through and get wet
* Another volunteer pauses for a photograph with a McLeod
* The first obstruction for the day is removed with a saw
* BEFORE photograph of deep runnel caused by rain water
* The first runnel getting repaired
* The first runnel continues to be filled in
* Drainage for rain water is established
* AFTER showing the trail filled in while it's being compacted
* Compaction of the newly-filled in long water-created trench
* AFTER showing a section of newly repaired trail
* The second length of damaged trail getting filled in with a McLeod
* Another drainage ditch carved in to the trail higher up
* AFTER showing more newly repaired trail with a series of new water drains
* Volunteer getting down and dirty
* Trailbuilder volunteers returnin to the trailhead after a difficult but fun day
* Some of the day's volunteers cool off their tired feet in the raging San Gabriel
* Some of the day's volunteers cool off their tired feet in the raging San Gabriel

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map

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