Fixing Up the Little Sur Trail

More than 20 volunteers turn out for a Ventana Wilderness Alliance sponsored work day on the Little Sur Trail.

Last June, we took a look at the sorry state of this trail and noticed that, in spite of dozens of deadfalls and sections of washed out tread, it remained quite popular with hikers on their way to Pico Public Camp. The problem with letting a busy route like this deteriorate isn’t just that it makes travel more difficult. When large numbers of people leave the trail to bypass difficulties in areas of steep slopes and sensitive habitats, erosion and other damage inevitably results.

Removing fallen tanoaks. As in most coastal canyons, Sudden Oak Death has killed nearly all the mature tanoaks along the South Fork Little Sur.

A new generation of tanoaks has sprung up to take their place, but many of the leaves on these young tanoaks are now turning brown and some young trees have already died. We can’t say for certain that this is a result of SOD infection, but it doesn’t bode well for the future of the tanoak forests.

The makeshift trail across the slide was pretty sketchy last June.

Still not a permanent solution, but much better after a little tread work.

Like the redwoods, pacific trillium (Trillium ovatum), or western wakerobin, if you prefer, reaches the southernmost end of its range in Big Sur. We saw quite a few in bloom.

The saw crew advances up the trail log by log.

Preparing to remove a snag.

The satisfaction of a job well done. The Little Sur Trail is now clear from the trailhead on the Old Coast Rd. to the crossing of the South Fork Little Sur (about 2 miles).

The hungry crew chows down on black oak acorn cookies and other delicacies. Virtue has its rewards!

4 Responses to Fixing Up the Little Sur Trail

  1. Lois says:

    What a great story, and your photos always say so much. Thanks for all your hard work, and living to tell about it!
    The Little Sur Trail lives again.

  2. Chris says:

    Yes…beautiful, important, stirring account. (Wish I hadn’t forgotten about this work-outing myself…)

    Thanks to all for this good work. And thanks, XT, for the important recording of this work on an historically public trail.

  3. gayle says:

    Once again I must applaud your work, your story and your photos. Thank you!!

  4. Bryan Zittlow says:

    Great work you guys!I would love to get involved and help.I made my first drive half way ,just passed the bridge, to the little ,white farm house.I have a question ..Does anyone know the history on the property with the rock chimney that sits next to the bridge at Little Sur river?

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