Source: Los Padres Forest
For those of you who brave the backcountry trails, the Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA) continues our work to help keep them open. Most recently we were able to host a 4-day volunteer project on the Madulce Trail within the Dick Smith Wilderness.
The Madulce Trail is a three-mile trail which connects Madulce Camp with the Buckhorn Road and is most commonly used by backpackers tackling multi-day loop trips between Santa Barbara Canyon and the Upper Sisquoc. The Madulce Trail is also a key component of the Condor Trail.
The past two winters have been particularly hard on this part of the forest causing many of the remaining dead trees from the Zaca Fire to succumb to the additional weight from the snow and fall across the trails. We’d been hearing some horror stories about how bad the Madulce Trail was and sent in one of our staff to survey the trail in February.
The report coming back estimated closed to 70 downed trees across the trail including quite a few ‘showstoppers’ where hikers either had to crawl, climb or go way off trail in order to get through. With that information in mind, the LPFA was able to rally a strong crew of forest volunteers to head out to Madulce in late March and start chipping away at the downed trees.
Using folding saws, loppers and a variety of 4-7ft crosscut saws, the team was able to clear over 3/4 mile of trail and along with it nearly 40 of the downed trees. Some of the trees were pretty easy to clear while others took a few hours each depending on size and complexity.
It was a great weekend of trail work, lots of fun had by all and we’re planning on heading back in May to connect the rest of the trail.
If interested in volunteering and helping out with these beautiful remote trails, find us online as we’re always looking for more help and be sure to check out HikeLosPadres.com before and after your next trip into the Los Padres Forest.