Dec 08

Table Mountain work day report 11-30-03

12 volunteers assembled on the top of Charcoal Road in Stevens Canyon County Park to begin the trail maintenance on the Table Mountain Trail that had been deferred for almost a decade.

As part of Santa Clara County Parks new Volunteer Crew Leader program, Charles Jalgunas led the crew down the spectacular Table Mountain single track trail, also know as The Alternate Trail, that parallels Charcoal Road down the nose of a ridge and into the canyon. The recent rains made for very pliable soil that was sculpted into natural looking drainage features. The goal for the day was to build a series of drains that will encourage any rain that falls on the trail, or runs down it, to quickly run off the edge of the trail. The less time water spends on any trail, the more durable that trail’s tread will be, and the less it will erode into the creek. Also, fewer mud puddles for users to step in or around makes a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

The term drains, used in this context, describes the way a trail is shaped by hand to divert water. The pictures below show a section of trail that has a gradual downgrade of 5% or so and bends to the left. At the apex of the turn, we dug into the trail tread to slope a 20 foot section of trail toward the outside of the turn.

At the edge of the trail, we dug a channel for water that will run down the slope we just dug. Water diverted off the trail here will get a chance to soak into the forest floor.

The next step was to make sure we sculpted a smooth transition between the drain and the undisturbed section of tread. A smoother transition looks better, more like a natural trail feature, and also holds up better under use.

To the untrained eye, this section of trail will not appear to be have been worked on in a couple of months, and provide a couple of years worth of good drainage.

We were able to hike about a third of the upper part of Table and build several drains this large on Sunday. We also made improvements to and cleaned out older drains that had long ago filled with siltation from a job well done. We all owe thanks to volunteers Dawn Zhang, Shane Reed, Desiree Reed, Tiffany Chu, David Alderman from the Trail Center, Dan De La Cruz, Patty Ciesla from F.O.R.E.S.T., Michael Severns, Tom Oshima from ROMP, Fred Stanke, also from ROMP, and Jeff Winkler, another County Trail Crew Leader. Tom Gould from Santa Clara County Parks brought the trail tool trailer, and ROMP and the Stewards of Soquel Forest also loaned tools for this project. Their efforts will improve everyones’ experience in our parks.

There are more Trail Days on the calendar for trails in other Santa Clara County Parks, and two more to finish what we started in Stevens Canyon. Find out more at http://www.parkhere.org

We work from 8:00 until about 12:00, and the rewards last all season.