Many of us have a deep attachment to Boggs. For some it is their back yard, a short ride from their home or worth the long drive to be in a wonderful refuge where one can hike or ride for hours and meet few souls, if any at all, on the trail.
And what about those trails, eh? They’ve seen a lot of TLC from wonderful trailwork volunteers over the many years that Boggs has been in existence. Boone Lodge has been a huge advocate and recruited many (including this author) to devote time to clear brush from trails, build drainage structures, and help repair damaged trails.
Over the past year, we’ve had ‘regulars’ appear at our trailwork days: Phyllis Murphey, Brien Crothers, Obie Porteous, Matt Kolasinski, and Brad May. Board member Mike Kasper has been especially attentive to the ‘fuel ladders’ in certain areas, and has collaborated with Forest Aide, Katie Johns, and Forest Manager, Gerri
Finn, to target specific trails that needed immediate attention.
We also had a lot of help from out-of-county visitors – a crew of seven from Boy Scouts Troop 4 from Cotati who visited Boggs to camp and mountain bike on an October weekend. Even before setting up camp, they immediately joined us on a Saturday morning to clear sightlines on a 2-mile segment of Gail’s Trail south of Road 400.
Our trailwork efforts this past year have focused on eliminating blind corners and improving sightlines as much as possible. Brushing the sides as well as the top to get a vertical clearance of 10-12 ft for equestrians is part of this effort. In July, members of the Clear Lake and Kelseyville High School Bike Team helped us clear a problem area where the manzanita had grown very thick at the first switchback on Mac’s Trail.
As for trail hazards, many thanks to David Thiessen, Joan Hume, and Phyllis Murphey who got all western on the poison oak along the Interpretive trail this past June. Now that’s what I call dedication! Next time we’re going to make sure that we provide Tecnu and paper towels for our volunteers. Oh, and just remember that poison oak “sticks”, meaning the reddish bare branches and stems you see sticking out of the ground in the cold months are also covered with the offensive oil (Urushiol) which can trigger a nasty rash.
When the rains arrive, we’ll look into developing drain dips as alternatives to rock water bars where possible as the latter require greater maintenance. Drain dips serve as catchments that funnel water (if correctly placed) to a natural drainage area.
To sum up: a huge THANK YOU to all our trailwork volunteers, especially to those who keep returning! And to the “unsung heroes” – those who quietly do their part, especially cleaning up the forest as they go about their walk or ride – what you do is deeply appreciated. Removing a discarded can or bottle or any kind of rubbish from a trail corridor really does enhance our experience in the forest!
We would love to have more help in keeping our trails in great shape – especially from equestrians who have a higher reach than the average hiker – so please mark the second Saturday of each month from 9-11 a.m. as the Boggs trailwork day. After trailwork, you can set off for your hike or ride with a great feeling of being a trails steward. If you can’t volunteer but see something that might be an issue on the trail (downed tree,
eroded area, etc.) please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or leave a message with the forest manager at 707-928-4378.