Hundreds of canyon hikers have already experienced the work being done by a trail crew employed under the supervision of the Los Padres Forest Association. In January 2005 several major storms pounded the Santa Barbara area, culminating with 7″ of rain on Sunday night, January 7. Overnight, trails in the east and west fork canyons were overwhelmed, with mudslides blocking sections of trail, rock fall that made passage almost impossible along with dozens of down trees.
The work project will continue over the next several months with the work continuing up the canyon trail to the power lines. From there the crew will move back down into the canyon and begin working on the west fork trail. Last year, using the flood grant money the crew re-opened the upper part of the West Fork Trail that had been closed after a major slide there took out a section of the trail. Because the slide was so severe the trail needed to be completely re-routed and almost three-fourths mile of new trail built.
Work in the lower part of the West Fork will focus on fixes to a number of slide areas that pose a major danger to trail users. You can stop by and chat with the trail crew most days. This week you’ll find the crew out on Thursday and Friday finishing up the last of the major problem areas where the trail is not only narrow but has lots of exposure.
Check out the trail crew’s progress at the blog devoted to the front country trails. You’ll find recaps of the work being done on Cold Springs project along with photos.