Pine Ridge Trail near Bad Gulch
The high winds at the end of November brought down an immense number of trees in the Santa Lucia mountains, leaving many trails looking more or less like this. Hundreds of trees, in fact, have fallen on the Pine Ridge Trail between Big Sur Station and Sykes (the most heavily traveled section of trail in the Ventana Wilderness).
Clearing the trails, many of which weren’t all that clear to begin with, is going to take a lot of time and a lot of work. But it’s a great excuse to get out into the woods and get some exercise…
Hikers were cutting a switchback to avoid this mess.
Notching a log to create a foothold. There’s a limit to what can reasonably be removed with small hand tools.
The best way to get involved in trail work is to join a Ventana Wilderness Alliance Trail Crew. If you use the trails, do your part to maintain them. With woefully inadequate Forest Service trail maintenance budgets likely to continue far into the future, your time and effort is the only thing that will keep the trails clear.