California Trail Days
The state-wide California Trail Days (started in 1986) takes place on
the last weekend in April each year as part of Earth Day. Local
volunteers meet at various points in the Santa Cruz Mountains to both
build and repair trails. The Trail Association participates in this
event with the cooperation of the California State Parks Foundation
and Sempervirens Fund in conjunction with other recreational and
conservation groups. Working together in this concerted effort since
1969, 10,000 volunteers have completed many miles of new trails
through the Santa Cruz Mountains, in addition to repairing
New volunteers are always needed; workers in the past have included
individuals, friends, families, along with members of youth groups,
schools, outdoor and conservation clubs. More information will be
available about California Trail Days 2001 in January.
Monthly trail maintenance
On three Saturdays of each month, smaller groups maintain the trails at
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park and the
State Parks Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. There is always plenty of work to be done.
Winter is the time to maintain the trail tread. The soil works well
when it is moist and packs down nicely, whereas in summer the soil is
too hard or too dusty to work. In winter and spring fallen trees need
to be removed from the trails and the important work of improving trail
drainage needs to be done. Without this maintenance the trails would
quickly become eroded.
Summer work is mainly brushing. The brush that is encroaching on the
trails needs to be cut back. This work is done year round, but it is
in summer, when it is harder to do the tread work, that most of the brush
The Big Basin Group under Jeff Bleam (831)338-0774 meets on the second
Saturday of each month at park headquarters.
The Skyline-to-the-Sea group led by Al Lisin (408)252-8106 also meets on the
second Saturday at Saratoga Gap - the junction of Highway 9 and Highway
35 (Skyline Boulevard).
The third Saturday is used by Martin Donald's group. Call Martin at
(650)966-1984. They also meet at Saratoga Gap.
All groups meet at 9:00 AM. Tools are provided but be sure to wear
long pants, long-sleeved shirt and boots. Bring lunch and water.
Bring lots of water during the summer months.