Henry Coe Trailwork - Jackson Trail - Sat 01/09/10
As many of you Coe fanatics know, Jackson trail is in pretty sad shape, with major guttering and rutting throughout much of the trail.
We'll be meeting at Hunting Hollow at 9:00 am on Saturday, Jan 9 to address some of these issues.
Experience not required; you only need a good attitude, some sturdy shoes, eye protection (sunglasses), gloves, water and a lunch.
Many folks will be riding into the work site, but some will be hiking up from the bottom of Anza, where we are planning on having a vehicle or two for gear support.
Hope to see you there!
In cooperation with California State Parks, ROMP, and the Pine Ridge Association, we bring you Coe 2nd Saturday Trailwork Jan. 9th, 2010.
The event will last from 9:00 to 3:00. Essentially the volunteer can depart at anytime, however, if they have arrived on their own power (we always ask them to notify a crew leader if they leave early). Meet at Hunting Hollow.
The location of the trailwork is the Jackson Trail, a place that takes a bit of time to hike or ride to from Coit Rd at Anza Trail. The distance from the Coyote Creek gate entrance to the bottom of the Jackson Trail is 2 miles, and the part of Jackson Trail we are working on is 1.5 miles long, with a vertical gain of 1400 feet (from Hunting Hollow).
Volunteers should come prepared to hike or ride what may be a strenuous distance depending on your fitness level to the work site and back, and have food, water, and appropriate clothing for the conditions. Bring gloves you can work in.
The event happens rain or shine.
Mountain bikers should leave their cars at Hunting Hollow and ride to the site, which adds a 2 mile flat approach to the Coyote Creek gate entrance.
Parking for volunteers is free. We have new volunteer placards which will be used as day parking passes.
Safety is always top priority. Trail work can be dangerous. No minors are allowed at this event. Volunteers must understand and sign the State Parks day volunteer waiver.
As another thread here indicates, ticks can be a problem for some visitors to Coe. We recommend tight sleeves and cuffs, and light colored clothing. When you bring clothes home, you might want to wash them immediatley, since a tick in the clothes may go crawling elsewhere. If you change into another ser of clothes at the car, put your dirties in a plastic bag and seal it for the same reason. You will see a lot of us wear gaitors. We wear these to keep dirt for falling into our shoes when we are working in the dirt, but they also work in concert with long pants to keep out ticks. Another way to avoid ticks is to try not to sit and lie down in the grass. But that doesn't stop me, I like to sit in the grass. it helps to spread out a bandana and sit on that. Some use insect repellent.
I'll chime in with more details and photos later on.
Reading the thread, I remembered my first time at Coe Trailwork, "It was an impressive turnout — nine volunteers showed up for the trail work. Paul, the organizer from ROMP, per protocol, read the rights that we didn’t have from a piece of paper and gave a speech, “Blah blah blah… You don’t have to work harder than you feel like to. Blah blah blah…” Equipped with the new knowledge, we got on our bikes and headed out."
I'll be there with my attitude.
Jackson Trail in 2006
Below are photos and text from January 14, 2006, a Coe 2nd Saturday Trail-work report. That was the last time we performed a more complete maintenance on the Jackson Trail. The photos are from a very cheap low-res camera. The text is from a trailwork report I dug up from my email. I think this is the trail work day where Diesel and I got to know each other for the first time.
[SIZE="5"]Jackson Trail Jan 14, 2006 Coe Second Saturday Trail Work[/SIZE]
Weather was our principal player on Saturday acting a stormy lead role. True to my commitment, the second Saturday Coe Trail does happen rain or shine.
It rained,! it hailed, and it even lulled for about 45 seconds, as we slogged our goretex laden souls up the Anza and Jackson Trails. Soggy as our boots would eventually become, the trail was in better shape than I hoped. The last couple of years of trail work was hitting pay dirt. But our work was not complete, and old drains were clogged.
Call Roto-rooter that the name and away goe troubles down the drain.
Phillip and I like to carry three tools on the rainy day trail work: One shovel, one pick mattock and one mcloud. Well liking to carry them is not accurate, but we carry them anyway. We carry them for miles and I wish for a golf cart. I'm serious. I mean one of those caddys with one handlebar that you pull around 19 holes.
It cannot be related or even counted; the number of drains we cut or cleared. Maybe the number is seriously around 10 score (ok, two hundred). As related, the tread is doing! well, and few gutters exist anymore.
When you work in the rain, you see the water gushing like ateries in a war film. You see exactly where the water springs and seeps out of the mountainside and flows. If it flows on the trail, that's not good, so you give it a place to flow off. And when you hack into the living flesh of the earth, that dirt mantle which when saturated becomes mud, you find that it is malleable.
We also saw places where gullies draining storm water over-flowed the containing banks (or lack of a bank, needing a grade reversal) where the trail crossed, which need attention. For example, if you were familiar with this trail, above the hardest part of the climb the trail mercifully levels off and cross a rocky gulch. The water was not flowing out of the stream bed onto the trail, but you could see that it had. The high flows of the holiday storms showed that a containing lip was needed. So we built! up a hump based on a big rock we moved into position to dam future storm run-off. Now you will find an interesting new ramp to roll over.
[I don't have a picture of this feature, but it is still there. Instead here is a photo of something I put in last month on Jackson.]
Rob left early, and the three of us remaining frolicked in the relentless showers until it was practically dark. Our last piece of work was on the Anza Trail "S-Turn" which is not far from the bottom of the Jackson Trail. our arms were pretty tired by this point. Insloped drains on each switchback were clogged. The upper one didn't seem needed, even though it was clogged, but the bottom one was. So we unplugged it, and threw some of the till into the gutter in the trail to fill it in.
Now I remember that back in Feb 03' I was hacking at the really dry hard clay! with rocks embeeded in it there with a pick mattock. On Saturday it was like putty.
On Saturday about 20 backpackers passed by on the Jackson Trail as we worked. It wasn't until this evening I reflected that these people probably have MLK day off, and are making quite a trip out of it, going to Kelly and Coit Lakes. As Yoda would say, "Snug in their bags: they must be."
Photo of Ligaya riding up Jackson at the bottom of the Jackson Wall 11/14/2004
May the! farce be with you.
Oh man, I would love to work on the Jackson Trail.. sadly I'll be in Hawaii suffering on the beaches. I'll echo mudworm's comments and suggest that a trail work day like this is a great way to be introduced to Coe. Jackson, in particular, is not a long ride from the Hunting Hollow lot.
The Jackson Wall unmade realginment story
You may have seen flagging of various potential reroutes of the Jackson Trail wall in past years. This was, these were, concepts which were very close to consummation at one time.
The Jackson Wall is the steepest part of the climb and is never easy to get over. It has two distinct stages. Once you get over the top of the second stage the trail turns left and crosses a drainage gulch, and continues at a more relaxed grade thereafter. I know I'm in good shape when I can wrap up the middle chain ring here and spin up to the summit.
The realignment idea has been shelved, probably permanently for these reasons: Hikers and runners like the direct approach to the backcountry. Cyclists like the challenge. Erosion has been relatively kept in check by drainage. More sophisticated trailwork techniques are going to be applied this weekend.
Still, I have these fairly descriptive pictures of the realignment proposal to display to satisfy our curiousity.
Here you can see how steep the actual trail is, and how rutted it can get. This was taken on 1/15/2005. To the right of Rich you can see the flagging of the a possible realignment, which was laid out at a 10% grade.
It would have taken a crew of eight guys two days to build this, in good conditions properly, including the upper section not in the photos.
You can see that the alignment follows an old trail. This was the original Sweco track. I do not know the true story, but it looks as though the Sweco was not able to operate on the steep unstable side slope where an original switchback was supposed to be sited. (That switchback area is outside of the the frame to the left.)
I remember when this trail was made. It replaces an old Jackson Trail south of the current one. The old trail was a deep ditch in places and while it was fun to ride, it was a haphazrd mess. The Jackson Wall section was incomplete as the turns were not finished. the Sweco had left the hillside pretty much on the track we now ride on, and that was the simplest way to descend on a bike, as the unfinished switchbacks were nothing but an area of big hard dirt clods at a steep side angle.
The alignment the trail currently follows, that we are calling the Jackson Wall here, has its charms. There are problems. It needs a lot of attention to not become a deep trench in the end. This is not the focus of this weekend's trail wrok, but a lot of things are going to happen here for the better.
One thing I wish to express here is that I intend to make trailwork improve the riding and hiking experience. Too often in the past we have cut drains through berms on the outside of difficult turns disrupting a natural carved turning radius. We knowingly did this, because we lacked the time and labor to do it otherwise, favoring preservation of the trail tread from hydraulic erosion over compromising a small bit of trail. Trail flow is an important aesthetic.
The Jackson wall is definitely a hate/love affair. I do have to say that your re alignment proposal looks very intriguing. Cant we have both? I can dedicate some extra volunteer hours!
Time is an illusion,
Rising from time,
Steep is the mountain which we climb.
Ha, you make yourself sound like a complete slacker...this picture from that day reveals the opposite: you're dragging branches off the trail while eating a sandwich, the camera is on ready to snap photos, the folding saw is in hand...
Originally Posted by mudworm
I'll see you and your attitude in the morning!
Mudworm is ripped!
On the fence for this. Shiloh is ready to do some rides again, but she'll have to start slowly.
Wow, I'm ripped! It's interesting what kind of visual effect you can get by positioning the camera from a different angle. Here is another example:
<img border="4" src="http://www.mudncrud.com/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=35195 &g2_serialNumber=2"> </img>
By the way, since this is a trail work thread, I should mentioned that this very tree in the above picture blocking Bowl Trail between Lyman Wilson and Middle Steer has been cleared recently by the Gilroy/Morgan Hill Nightriders as reported by Skyline35. And now it looks to be a fun little drop:
<img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2626/4240465867_5408a6630c_o.jpg"> </img> (photo courtesy of Skyline35)
The Boss on call again, I would have had a hard time deciding what to do with myself (too many options) if it had not been you guys. Thanks for another great day of great fun at Henry Coe!
The trailwork was carried out under the leadership of Sorcerer, Diesel~, and ranger Rob. Ten volunteers showed up at the parking lot and four more showed up later at the work site. Most were MTBR users (how else did they find out about the event?) and we revealed our double identities. But when knobs asked this sweet girl, Carrie, who showed up with Drew, "what's your handle?" everyone laughed. I felt like a seasoned sailor because I got it, but I wasn't sure if that was a good thing.
I regret dearly that I felt too cold to pull my camera out in the morning to take a picture of the big group at the parking lot or too content to be bothered with the task during the lunch break. Well, that just further confirmed my suspicion that I was not the photographer material.
We worked our way up Jackson Trail. On my hike down to my bike by the end of the day, I shot some video clips of each major sections that were worked on. Unfortunately, the last two clips were shot in Time-lapse mode accidentally -- the kind that shows the clouds roll through from sun rise to sun set within just a few seconds. In an effort to even out the speed, I doubled the speed of my first three clips and slowed the speed of the last two clips. The end result? A pleasant surprise. I kinda like it anyway.
If you don't know what kind of shape Jackson Trail was in before, you can see it in switchbaxr's video. I missed that video earlier and dug it out last night after witnessing and hearing about his impressive riding skills.
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If the embedded video doesn't work for you, you can view it on YouTube.
Last edited by mudworm; 01-10-2010 at 09:13 PM.
Reason: insert youtube link
Getting things done on Jackson Trail
That was a great trail day yesterday! Propitious weather and soil conditions combined with enthusiastic volunteers resulted in some excellent progress. Another trail day is scheduled to work on the Jackson Trail on the last Saturday of this month, Jan. 30. We will meet at Hunting Hollow at 9am again.
There were few snafus, one of which was wanting to use BOB trailers to transport tools up to the site from the bottom of Anza. I, we, should have remembered what we learned from past experience. This was not a disaster, but Fattire400 and Plymmer had agreed to pull a trailer each. Both of these guys ride 29'ers, and, duh, BOBs do not fit on mtb 29'ers.
We have 3 BOBs to use. In the end it was left up to Bart and I to tow up the tools. As a bonus, Switchbaxr pulled up a huge Burley type two-wheeled kiddie trailer and some tools up too. I missed that action, which must have been fairly hectic on some of the switchbacks. He certainly was living up to his mtbr name.
Later on, Drew (I can't remember his mtbr handle), who arrived later, rode up to volunteer, and being a very strong rider, quickly agreed to take a BOB trailer back down and up to get a few more shovels.
In all, we were 14 strong, including the four who arrived later, riding up to the trail work area. I did not take enough photos, but I figure with so many of us toting cameras, we'll get a good collection. I have a new video camera as well, which I used, but still need to get the hang of using.
While Plymmer and Fattire400 rode up to the top and back for fun, the rest of us halted a few turns below the Jackson wall area. It was pretty hard for me to ride up with a lot of tools in th BOB to that point, but I managed to make it all that far without putting a foot down. And I'm sure I was about to on the next ramp.
Whille this is not a shot of the first section we worked on, as a demonstration, it shows volunteers working on a straight section of trail. They are removing the outside berm and outsloping the tread. This represents a favorable technique. Many of our temporarily effective, but less desirable from a riding point of view, small drains, on Jackson Trail, will be replaced with sections of outlsloped bench followed by a rolling grade dip. This takes a lot more work to create than a small drain.
Above is a photo of a section where there were formerly two two pretty large drains through a berm, which have been joined to create one large out-sloped trail section, which is being followed up by a long hump, or grade reversal.
Above a volunteer works on correcting the location of trail tread. We have scarified the old tread surface to make the bed ready for colonization by by sod peeled of with shovels from the place where the trail should go. In this case, trail users have been straightlined a section, where some turns will help with trail flow. This technique is viable in the moist winter-time, and the grass land quickly restores, and makes the old trail line invisible.
Above, the old tread is behind these volunteers, but you can't even make it out anymore in this photo.
We took a lunch break here by the rock in the midst of the Jackson Wall area. We did a lot of work below and just above this rock. But the immediate section of say 20 yards above this rock will not have any work done on it. As it turns out, this steep section, is sustainable due to the evident shallow bedrock underlayer. I think that over time, more rock will be revealed as soil erodes away, creating an attractive more technical area of the trail. For now it is just a steep area. We'll keep an eye on this.
Here's that section in an old photo. Our work will help minimize or eliminate water coming onto that section from above.
I really had a great time and got a full body work-out, that's for sure.
Here's a special announcement for local mountain bike video, photo, and animation creators out there:
Thanks for all the support. Please support us!
You can get into some odd conversations during trail work. There was a repeating discussion about what "it" is. There was not one answer, everyone has a different "it" thing...
Mudworm attacks the trail.
Diesel (aka Acorn Man) doing his thing.
Plymmer, never needs an explanation.
Skyline Three Five fixed the trail. Again.
Thanks guys! I wanted to go and help out but I'm on a short leash on Saturdays. I hope I can join the next trailwork days.
Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?
Knobs: nice, I look ripped! Judging by the expression on your face, you have just spotted "it" and "it" is terrifying:
Thank you Sorcerer, Diesel~, Rob, plymmer, Tom, knobs, mudworm, Special O (Drew), Carrie, switchbaxr, nowatt, Nine, Captain Hero, and chucko58 for the trailwork yesterday. The results were great and I had a good time :-)
a few more pictures...
switchbaxr pulling a trailer full of tools:
mudworm test riding Jackson Trail:
A big THANKS for all the hard work!! Didn't get to make it this time, and Jackson is such a great very-low-chance-of-poison-oak project too. Crossing fingers for end of the month!
Great work. I hope to ride the repaired Jackson trail soon. I was busy doing trail work at El Corte de Madera on Saturday. The single track section of Methusalah has some new waterbars.
Also known as Menso's dad.
ROMP Mtn Bike Film Fest 2010?
Sorcerer, when I read your post-trailwork summary earlier, I missed the YouTube link, which is so easy to get lost if not embedded. IMHO, you should start a new thread with the announcement and maybe even ask the Admin to sticky it for a while during the right time. What do I think? Since you asked, I think in this video, you do not look ripped at all.
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This thread cracks me up. For the record, I have never exercised a McCloud on a tick. But, knobs, impressive art!
Last edited by mudworm; 01-10-2010 at 10:14 PM.
Thanks for the work! I was hoping to join and have my revenge on that Jackson rut but I'll spare you my list of excuses - plan to be there next time.
You must have found a grub.
Originally Posted by Skyline35
That's my standard "comic effect while riding" expression. I'm sure there are other pictures with the same expression floating around.
Originally Posted by Skyline35
Here's an additional picture from the day. I climbed up to the top of the rock overlooking the trail work area. There was an old rusted Regal tin-can up there, looked like it had been there for 80 years. Some moss, and great views too.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help with the trailwork on Saturday.
Lots of great folks showed up, and I was really impressed with how much we were able to accomplish.
Below are a few shots I took along the way.
Okay folks. The Gilroy Hot Springs Rd has been repaired enough to open, so we are going to go ahead with more trail work this Saturday, January 30th, and meet at Hunting Hollow at 9am.
The weather will be okay, and the ground will have dried out enough to make the trails passable.
It will be a great way to see what has happened to the trails and do something about it at the same time.
I have 3 BOB trailers and need a couple of volunteers with 26" wheels, or small 29'er tires to help pull tools up to the work areas. Driving in to the top, as was speculated, is not going to be possible, due to the dicey road conditions.
We will stop along the way up Anza towards Jackson to do repairs as needed before hitting the main event of the rest of the Jackson Trail above. I am certain there will be action items.
I posted some photos I took today, from the Gilroy Hot Springs Road repair on the Jan 30 trail work thread.
Jan 30 extended Jackson Trail remix.
Jackson Trail Continuum of Maintenance
If only it were as easy as painting.(Photo from 12/30/12)
This thread is two years old, and records the last time we did "official" maintenance was done on the Jackson Trail. Since then a majority of attention has been diverted into the construction of the Jim Donnelly Trail. This incurred some sacrifice on other trails, like the Jackson and Grizzly Gulch. Of course one has to acknowledge persistent trail fairies always exist.
Without the work of trail fairies and past efforts Jackson Trail would be in even worse shape now.
We built scores of small drains and dips, and debermed the trail tread in practical places (meaning the labor investment was small). The first things we do to the old trails is make sure that all drainage crossings are sunk in so that flood water doesn't hop out of the gulch and start flowing down the trail. Now, after a series wet winters and maintenance efforts on the Jackson Trail, we are able to see what works and what doesn't. The grade reversals at gulches have worked well. Some need reinforcement now. Small multiple drains don't last, clog, and are overwhelmed. Even the big reversals clog up.
In the photo above, shot into the sun, the trail tread reflects the sheen of standing water. There is a big drain dip by the exclamation point. It has been working to reduce the flow of water below, and the trail below it (where the bike is) is better off for it. The drain is almost completely silted up though, and may cease to function in the future, as water is clearly going over it even in the post strom trickle.
The next photo is of a reversal which Drew Perkins (of Emma McCrary Trail fame) helped us install.
This one is situated just below the approach to the first steep ramp of the Jackson Wall section. There's a drain right at the bottom of the wall. This one is the second water-trap. I wanted to make this a very big reversal. I remember saying something like, "Drew, what we need here is something at least as big as a coffee table hump across the trail at an angle like this (scratches line with mcleod) to stop water for a good while."
Looking down at this drain dip the extent to which the tread below the dip has been spared erosion is evident. Clearly the drain is doing what it was intended to do. It was well sited and robustly constructed.
The bad thing is that the trail above the dip is now deeply cupped, and the berm is formidable.
(Above, the way it looked on 1/30/2010)
I've shied away from massive berm removals because the labor is so hard. The option of cutting gaps, dips, lenses, and reversals into these berms to give water a place to escape is much more attractive when you perceive the magnitude of the excavations in reality.
Diesel and I have had so many discussions about this stuff over the years. Now with Pliebenberg in the mix we have another voice. It would be great to bear motorized equipment upon these problems. It would be great to have more time labor too. In the end, finish hand work is required.
My conclusions after the 2010 trail work season, to be realistic with the amount of labor we have, were that we should be building bigger reversals and rolling grade dips; focus more upon quality rather than quantity of drainage; and take trail maintenance section by section.
Cupping, concave entrenchment of the trail tread, is a general result observed above the dozens of drain dips that have been constructed on the Jackson Trail. In some areas this has become severe. Switchbacks suffer from this as well. Sometimes it looks as though that when the drains clog up, there is an acceleration of erosion, as the the venturi effect speeds up the water and loose materials bearing small rocks scour the trail into a v-shaped profile.
When a drain clogs under an intense rain-storm it forces the water back onto the trail.
Happy New Year!
Last edited by Jack Burns; 01-01-2013 at 11:46 AM.
...I'm just full of puns and double entendres today; must have something to do with the New Year.
Problem with drawing too much attention to the Jackson Trail (or many others in Coe) is that if it is truly worked to State standards either the Sweco comes back or either horse or bike access is removed. None of these outcomes please me. Much better to work on changing those standards. (Or find a State staffer more liberal in their interpretation of same) Or get Drew out with a mini-ex!?!?
Here's how the State categorizes Jackson Tr in their database:
Those letter codes:
In other words the 1.408 mile Jackson Tr is Existing, to be Maintained, Hiker/Bike/Equestrian use, Maintained with Sweco and Trail/Single (single track).
That flag pole mentioned in the notes is a new one on me; sounds like there were more flag poles than just the ones on the Cullen Ridge---another hike-a-bike adventure is needed
Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.
Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.
De-berm or not de-berm, that is the question.
Yeah, well Pliebenberg, it's not my intention to pick on old scabs. It being a new year and all, a retro-perspective is part of my mood today. Seeing as how Diesel has been making noises about the problems other trails in the park develop due to inattention, there may be some volunteer work on these problems this year. [Maybe not though. Two factors against it are: I want to ride more than do trail work. Tread work requires paid supervision.]
I haven't gone looking for Ye Olde Jackson Trail, but I bet you can still find it given your excellent tracking skills. There used to be an old "gate" entry to the trail just past where the current Jackson Trail single track takes off from the top by Elderberry. There may be still a bit of that wood left in the grass rotting away.
Given the local political situation official remedial trail work would probably permit de-berming, out-sloping the tread, occasional mild grade reversals, locally sourced rock armoring, and insloped drains at all switchbacks (the switchbacks lack this currently). Personally I don't agree with that approach entirely. It's crazy to work for free doing practices you don't agree with.
The Jackson Trail is like that ramp with poor traction, slippery slope, analogy, which is a phrase I have banned from my vocabulary along with:
Lake Superior State University's 38th annual list of banished words:
— fiscal cliff
— kick the can down the road
— double down
— job creators/creation
— spoiler alert
— bucket list
— boneless wings
The Coe "trail fairies"...
Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.
Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.
In Pliebenberg's photo above of some tasteful minor trail fairy work on the Anza Trail we see what appears to be the trail continue straight ahead framed by an apparently unfinished back-slope which still stands steeply beyond a 1:1 ratio. That gateway leads to the original proposed alignment which is impractical due to the fact that it enters an active spring zone. A Sweco had excavated a pretty long section of trail ahead of the point which had to be abandoned. This is another example where modern CSP trail work is disappointing.