Members of the public interested in participating should meet at the Santa Lucia District Office at 1616 North Carlotti Drive at 8 AM to carpool to the trailhead. The group will return to the district office by noon.
The Willow Spring Trail is located off Highway 166 approximately 20 miles from Highway 101. The Forest Service recently began maintaining this non-motorized trail, which is the Forest Service trailhead closest to the city of Santa Maria.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the Willow Spring Trail and the steps we’re taking to provide a backcountry hiking experience that is in close proximity to the city of Santa Maria,” said Santa Lucia District Ranger Kathleen Phelps.
A gate closure has been in place as the Forest Service installs a cattle guard. Once the cattle guard is in place, the Forest will keep the gate to the trailhead open as conditions allow.
Hikers should bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of drinking water, and are encouraged wear long sleeve shirts, pants, and sturdy walking shoes.
Ranger Phelps reminds the public to exercise extreme caution when recreating in the Forest when conditions are conducive to a firestart.
“High fire season is underway and we need to be extra careful, especially when maintaining campfires and operating motorized vehicles in the Forest,” Phelps said. “We all have a role to play in staying safe and taking care of our public lands.”
For more information, contact the Santa Lucia District Office at (805) 925-9538.