We hope this email finds you with a little Los Padres dirt under your fingernails, perhaps a very small splotch of poison oak on the back of your leg, sore legs from hammering up that big trail climb last weekend and a huge smile thinking about what was and what is yet to come in your Los Padres explorations. This is the prime time of the year for hiking, riding, camping and/or swimming. There are lots of opportunities near and far to enjoy the Los Padres and to give back to the forest in the process. You can explore local Meetup groups for close-by trail addicts looking for like-minded friends to share the trails with. Study your LP maps or HikeLosPadres.com for new trails or camps to visit. And for those who want to give back to the trails you love, join the LPFA on one of our upcoming volunteer projects. Have at it, get-out get-out wherever you are and take advantage of the prime season here in the Los Padres. Oh, and by the way, we’d love to see any photos you take while you’re out in the forest. Just as you probably (hopefully) like to get these updates, we also love to see what you’re up to as well. Living vicariously……
WHEELER GORGE BROCHURE COVER CONTEST
A few months ago we ran a contest looking for great photos of the Hwy 33 / Ojai Backcountry region of the Los Padres Forest to be used on the cover of the 2019 Wheeler Gorge event brochure. We received over 100 incredible photo entries from across the Ojai Ranger District featuring sunsets, flowers, snow capped mountains, waterfalls, majestic trees, vistas and people enjoying the forest. It was a hard choice but we ended up choosing this fantastic layout of waterfalls taken by Nathan Wickstrum. Thank you everyone who participated and Nathan, we’ll be in touch to discuss your prize! Woot woot…..
The annual Wheeler Gorge Open House is this weekend! Please come by for a visit with your family and friends, say hello and come back again throughout the summer for the weekly events and talks. You can learn more here.
– The LPFA will be co-hosting a Trivia Night TONIGHT with REI at Night Lizard Brewing in Santa Barbara. If you enjoy the outdoors, find yourself at REI regularly, dig trivia nights or enjoy beer; we expect to see you tonight at 7pm. Bring your A Game…….
– We’ve been busy restoring many of the trails you love and some that you might learn to love. Over the past month we’ve led trail projects on the Aliso Trail, Santa Barbara Canyon Trail, Alamar Trail, Tinta Trail, Mono-Alamar Trail, Poplar Trail, Alamar Hill Trail, Sisquoc Trail, Judell Trail, Cold Spring Trail, Matilija Falls Trail, Gridley Trail, Manzana Trail, Lost Valley Trail, Hurricane Deck Trail and Big Cone Spruce Trail. We’ve also partnered with Santa Barbara County Trails Council to help them on the Franklin Trail and Baron Trail, partnered with Montecito Trails Foundation to work on the Wiman Trail, Hot Springs Connector Trail, West Fork Cold Spring Trail and Old Pueblo Trail and partnered with SLOPOST to help on the Trout Creek Trail and Seller’s Potrero Trail. Tis the season for trail work, it’s been a busy month! Big thanks to all our partners, The Forest Service, our LPFA Trail Crew and especially all the volunteers who have poured their heart and souls into helping the trails we love! THANK YOU……
– The Amgen Tour of California will be passing through the Los Padres in a few weeks. Stage 4 starts at Laguna Seca on May 15 and follows Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast before ending 137 miles later at Morro Bay. Should be spectacular! The next day on May 16, stage 5 covers 136 miles from Pismo Beach to Ventura passing the Los Padres through Hwy 154 in Santa Barbara.
– The Los Padres National Forest is proposing to reroute the Pine Ridge Trail around a damaged section of trail near Barlow Flat Camp. The Pine Ridge Trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Los Padres and has been closed since July 2016 due to the Soberanes Fire and subsequent damage to the trail. The FS is looking for comments on the proposed reroute. Please check this link for more details and let your voice be heard.
– The Los Padres’ very own Helen Tarbet has released her latest Figueroa Mountain Wildflower update for April 18. This is a fantastic resource for knowing where and what flowers are out and about.
– Many of the roads around the forest remain damaged and closed after this winters heavy rains, see photo below. The FS is working to repair the roads and restore trailhead access. Many of the seasonal gate closures are expected to be reopened on May 1. Please be patient with the FS but at the same time give them a call and let them know you want and need the roads reopened as soon as possible.
– Even with the above average rain season we’ve enjoyed, the Los Padres is preparing for another potentially big fire season ahead. Due in part to the wet winter, the grasses around the Los Padres have grown quite high and much of that grass is starting to dry out. We’ve already seen a few smaller grass fires around the Central Coast. In anticipation of the upcoming fire season, Cal Fire has been adding staff and fire engines as well as awarding grants to areas such as Big Sur and the Santa Barbara Frontcountry to tackle local fire prevention projects.
– In response to a 2018 lawsuit, an agreement was reached last week between the Forest Service and ForestWatch to extend the temporary ban on un-managed target shooting across the Los Padres National Forest until January 2020. This does not impact the regular legal hunting seasons and target shooting remains legal at both the Ojai Valley Gun Club in Rose Valley and Winchester Gun Club on West Camino Cielo.
– With the assistance of the VWA, Arroyo Seco Gorge has been selected as a Leave No Trace Hot Spot for 2019 and will be visited by LNT staff August 19-26. As part of a LNT Hotspot program, LNT will send out a small team of LNT experts who will stay at Arroyo Seco for the week and conduct public outreach and lead community events designed to teach and preach more sustainable practices for the Arroyo Seco Gorge. Good stuff!
– The Los Padres National Forest will be hosting a job fair on Saturday May 4 from 9am – 1pm at the San Marcos Fire Station.
– Lets get back to the trails, shall we? While last month was certainly busy, we’ve got more trail restoration on tap for the coming month including work on the Tequepis Trail, Matilija Trail, Three Peaks Trail, Cold Spring Trail, Willow Spring Trail, Manzana Trail, Deal Trail, Sisquoc Trail, Alamar Trail, Poplar Trail, Grapevine Trail and Matilija Falls Trail. Busy busy busy…… If you’d like to help with any of these trail projects, we’d love the support either through volunteer help or donations. Email Volunteer@LPForest.org or make a donation to the LPFA Trail Care program today!