Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 2:55 am | Fair 36º


Popular Rattlesnake Connector Trail Restored, Reopened by Volunteers’ Labor

Hiking, trail running, mountain biking groups team up to clear vegetation on 80 percent of trail

Rattlesnake Connector Trail, a once popular hiking trail between Tunnel and Rattlesnake trails, had fallen in to disrepair and heavy brush over the years. The Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers (and groups MTC, Los Padres Forest Association, Montecito Trails Foundation and Santa Barbara Trail Council), with staff from the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County and Los Padres National Forest, led community volunteers to a successful reopening of the trail Saturday!

Rattlesnake Connector Trail volunteers had the tools and the talent, and took the time, to restore and reopen about 80 percent of the popular trail.
Rattlesnake Connector Trail volunteers had the tools and the talent, and took the time, to restore and reopen about 80 percent of the popular trail. (Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers photo)

It was encouraging to see new volunteers from the hiking, trail running and mountain biking communities at this event. The group followed county and city staff with McLeods, loppers and Rogue tools to clear-cut brush and do minor tread repair. County Parks Ranger Mark Guy, with Dave and Joe of the city of Santa Barbara, led the volunteers by running their industrial-strength power hedgers into and through the heavy brush covering the trail.

Approximately 80 percent of the trail was reopened to U.S. Forest Service-width guidelines allowing easy passage and good sight lines along the route. The cut vegetation will start regrowing immediately and the recently “worked-on look” will disappear quickly. It was immediately apparent of how important the use of power tools were to the efficiency and success of this event — without those tools only a 16th of the trail would have been cleared. This holds true for our whole trail system; with the miles of trail, shortage of volunteers and lack of agency resources, we need power tools on trail events to keep up with the amount of work to be done.

A thanks goes out to Saturday’s crew leaders: Dave Everett, Doug Jacobsen, Ryan Harris and Damon Eckert. A big thanks also goes out to the mountain bikers who worked on the hiking-only Rattlesnake Connector Trail — as well as SBMTV for supplying the food from Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch (a la Paul Herning) for the event.

And a special thanks goes out to Rebecca Mordini, the Front Country Trails coordinator who was able to pull a very successful event together with little resources!

Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers.

— Chris Orr is vice president of the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers.

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