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Progress Report - MBAHG Trail Work & Wilderness Restoration Initiatives

From: user 1.
Sent on: Thursday, October 27, 2011 2:46 PM

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group (MBAHG) is an organization that exists to celebrate the joys of group hiking and/or backpacking on the many beautiful trails that we are blessed to have right here in our backyard.  We are also committed to taking concrete steps to ensure that the natural resources we enjoy here on the Monterey Peninsula are well preserved and retain their pristine qualities. 

To that end the MBAHG has formally adopted two back country trails in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest.  Our first adopted trail, the Puerto Suello, is a 2.7-mile long trail that lies in the heart of the northern Santa Lucia and is a vital link connecting the Ventana Ridge to the Carmel River thereby providing hike through access from the northwest corner of the Ventana Wilderness through to Pine Valley and beyond. 

To date the MBAHG has hosted three work trips to the Puerto Suello with our 4th trip scheduled for the weekend of November 4-6.  Much has been accomplished thus far with nearly the entire trail having now been minimally brushed, flagged, and cleared of most major dead and/or fallen trees.  Hikers with advanced route finding skills can now hike the Puerto Suello end-to-end in less than 3 hours whereas before it would take 8-10 hours (assuming people didn't get lost in the attempt). 

For photos of these events, please see the following links:

Puerto Suello Trip #1:

Puerto Suello Trip #2:

Puerto Suello Trip #3:

Starting in November 2011 the MBAHG will sponsor work trips to the Lost Valley Trail in the southern Ventana Wilderness.  The Lost Valley Trail is a beautiful east-west connector route that runs between Escondido on the eastern flank through to the North Coast Ridge on the coastal side.  Sadly this trail has long suffered the ill effects of fire, winter erosion, and a general lack of use due to its remote location.  However the Lost Valley (with off-trail access to Deer Pasture) offers the outdoor enthusiast a true wilderness experience if ever there was one.  I personally am looking forward to seeing this trail get some much needed attention....Look for more details on this in the coming months. 

In addition to trail work the MBAHG is hosting wilderness restoration outings into the Sykes corridor along the famed Pine Ridge Trail.  Our last outing to Sykes took place this past weekend (October 22-23) where 7 of your fellow MBAHG members joined me for a 2-day excursion into the wilderness to clear trail, cut trees, and do restorative work at Sykes camp.  In addition we made 120 public contacts with visitors to the forest and helped to build awareness on the importance of Leave No Trace (LNT) and the practice of good wilderness ethics. 

For photos of this event, please see the following URL:

Wilderness Restoration Trip:

All of these events are typically multi-day, overnight outings which necessarily precludes the need to backpack into these remote locations.  However many of you have personally told me that you would appreciate an opportunity to do trail work BUT that doesn't require an overnight stay. 

To that end, starting in 2012 the MBAHG is planning to host a series of trail maintenance work trips that will be day hikes; in this way you can enjoy all the benefits of day hiking while working the trails and having fun with your fellow hiking friends.  Stay tuned for more details as we near the beginning of the new year. 

And of course there will be many more opportunities for day hiking, backpacking, and other fun outdoor related activities that are the hallmark of what this group is all about.  I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of you out on the trails and look forward to sharing many more good times and adventures with you all. 


Robert Barringer
Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group


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