news MCBC Volunteers Clear Pt. Reyes Trail

Last Saturday, 14 hardy volunteers came out to remove brush from the Olema Valley Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore. This is one of the best bike legal trails in the park (there are 24 miles total) and makes for a good loop when coupled with Randall, McCurdy and Bolinas Ridge.

Situated in a protected and lush valley that sees significant precipitation and further watered by two creeks that run on either side of the trail, the Olema Valley Trail goes wild quickly.  The ecosystem promotes rapid growth of vegetation in the valley, which requires annual mowing and hedging to make the trail corridor passable.

Volunteers and two NPS trail crew rangerswere able to cut back the vegetation on a section of trail where the mowers are not able to enter. We were working at a great pace until we hit a yellow jacket nest right on the trail. It spilt up the crew and two of our workers got stung, but we got the work done and regrouped for lunch.

While the trail is now ridable thanks to the volunteer day, it still needs a lot of TLC after many years of deferred maintenance.

The good new is Point Reyes is willing to let us adopt the trail and work with them on enhancements over the coming years to address entrenchment, needed reroutes and bridge crossings.

Last Saturday was the first step towards developing a working relationship with the National Park Service trail crew. We will return in September to repair a steep erosive trail segment and discuss a timeline for the larger body of work.

We look forward to returning in September and hope you will join us. Watch the MCBC website for details on the September trail day.

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Here are some fun facts about the trail:

The Olema Valley Trail meanders along the Olema Rift Zone, created by the San Andreas Fault. The San Andreas Fault runs through Bolinas Lagoon, the Olema Valley and up through Tomales Bay. In fact, the epicenter of the 1906 Great Earthquake was near Olema. As a result of seismic activity, the Olema Rift Zone features a very unique hydrology or drainage pattern. For about a mile in the Olema Valley, two creeks parallel each other and flow in opposite directions to the Pacific Ocean. Pine Gulch creek flows south and empties into Bolinas Lagoon, while Olema Creek flows north and drains into Tomales Bay. This is just one of the many wonders that await you along the Olema Valley Trail.

– Stephen Bryne

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