As promised in my previous post I rode this seldom used trail south of Acton last Sunday. Despite my thoroughly enticing trail description noone was inspired to join me. Sensing that this might be the case, I planned on doing a little trail work on my ride. So I bought a machette for $10 at Lowes, reinforced the cardboard package with duct tape, and strapped it on my Camelback so I could hack through some of the vegetation on the climb up.
I hadn't ridden it since Feb. so there was much more overgrowth this time. I ignored the tall grasses and stuff that bends easily and focused on the bar grabbing, toss you to the ground hard stuff. The machette worked well on just about everything except for scrub oak and manzanita which were both like rubber and just laughed at me no matter how hard I swung. With the extra effort, I only climbed about 4 1/2 miles up the south end of the trail. The bike rolled for just under 2 hrs total (both ways) and I guess that I chopped brush for about 2 1/2 and rested about 1/2 hr. I didn't get it all but that 4 1/2 miles is now free of extended sections of evil branches except for the occasional manzanita, scrub oak and some isolated plants that should yield to your bars.
I guess swinging that machette drained my mojo because I was slow on the descent, made stupid mistakes and dabbed a lot. But the trail still is fun and has great potential. I know "potential" is French for "you ain't done @#%& yet" but this trail is worth saving. It needs some leveling, widening, drainage and trench filling but not very much. It is sustainable which is proven by the fact that it is still ridable with no maintanence for at least the 8 yrs I've been riding it. It did get a little brush clearance when the Crown fire burned through the north end 2 yrs ago! That even took out the manzanita!
I rode 9.5 miles in 1:52 with a top speed of 17 mph. I did not ride on the north section which was burned in the fire. It looks like high grasses have grown along the trail that way. Bottom line is this trail is just sitting there while we drive farther to ride crowded and overused trails. With some work, this could be one of SoCal's best trails.
I wrote down some more details in case any of you want to ride this at your convenience. Keep in mind that I will take anyone at almost anytime on this trail but if you want to ride it on your own, here's how to get to the exact trail after you follow the directions to the meeting place from my previous thread.
From Soledad Cyn Rd to the large,dirt parking area on Aliso Cyn rd. it is 3 miles. You'll see a 25 mph road sign indicating a left turn which drops down to cross a creek. There's also a broken stone FS sign without any sign. From here, go west on the well graded dirt rd. The road will come to a crest and you'll see huge power lines overhead. At the second power line road on your right at 1.1 miles, turn right. This road is sandy and rutted may not be good for low clearance cars. If you're not sure, park at the top of the crest and ride your bike to the trail. Once on the second power line rd, you'll head northwest for one mile where another power rd joins from the right at the base of one of the huge power poles to the left. Park in the space next to the power pole. The trail crosses the power road about 40 yds to the west. Coast slowly down on your bike and look carefully for the trail. There should be some motorcycle tracks exiting the trail. To the right, north, the trail is more level but still interesting. To the left, south, it rolls in and out of gullies. At the 1 mile mark, it crosses an ATV trail. Angle to the right and look to the left. In about 8 yards, the trail veers off to the left from the ATV trail. At about 1.3 it crosses the main dirt road. A FS sign reveals the trail across the road as it leaves a sandy wash to the right. At 2 miles it crosses a hard packed jeep road. Just go straight. A few more gullies and you hit 2 switchbacks at 2.5 miles. Then the trail climbs gradually up Mt. Gleason. Last week, there were 2 flowing creek crossings. If you have any questions or want to ride this trail, pm me and I'll be glad to join you if I can but will surely give you all the info I can.
I'm not a name dropper but a racer named Bear Perrin showed me this trail for those who know him. He has since moved to Oregon but maybe that info will lend a little credibility to my claims about this trail. Let's get together and give this trail a try and then a makeover! Thanks for bearing with my verbosity!
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