Home Trail Work Miner's Ridge Loop Trail Work, Black Mountain Open Space Park

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Miner's Ridge Loop Trail Work, Black Mountain Open Space Park PDF Print E-mail

Photos courtesy of Alejandro R. Santos and Rod Simmons. Click on images to see large size.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. Santos

Black Mountain Open Space Park was the site for SDMBA's February 5, 2011 Trails Work day. Site of a defunct arsenic mine that went belly-up in the 20's, the Miner's Ridge Loop trail itself is in fine health these days thanks to the 33 volunteers who forfeited part of their Super Bowl weekend to give a little back to the most popular trail on the mountain. 

SDMBA liaison to the park, Rod Simmons was joined by fellow skilled trail bosses, SDMBA president Gardner Grady, Mike MacGregor, Andy Darragh, Bryan Furbee, Brian Nixon, Rich Julien  and Sr Park Ranger Ed Christensen in mentoring the days volunteer work force. 

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. Santos

As with all SDMBA trail events, the day started with workers signing liability releases which also double as entry forms into the days drawing for prizes donated by the event's sponsor. 

Black Mountain Bicycles donated merchandise and gift certificates awarded following the completion of work. 

Badass Coffee was available to those who's day just cannot start without a caffeine jolt. 

Following the always informative safety briefing, workers assembled to select the tools they'd be using for the day. Choices, choices . . .

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. SantosThe focus of work on the Miner's Ridge Loop was threefold.


1. Repair damage caused through usage and more significantly, damage caused by water erosion.

2. Repair rock bars and and water diversion features so that water from future rain storms is routed off the trail prevented new erosion from occurring.

3. With the trail tread repaired, speed differential between user groups would likely be increased causing user conflict. Chokes and other techniques were deployed to regulate speeds while enhancing trail experience.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. Santos


Safety is of utmost importance. The trail will be here tomorrow and we strive to make sure our precious volunteers are too. Here SDMBA president Gardner Grady graphically illustrates the "circle of death" available when wielding a pick/mattock. The pick/mattock is the tool of choice for excavating the concrete like soils we have here in San Diego. It's ability to penetrate hard ground also make it a potentially dangerous tool when used in close proximity to other trail workers. Our workers are briefed to be aware of not only the "circle of death" for their tools but also to remain alert and not stray in the "circle of death" of another worker. 


Garner's hardhat makes him the most visually recognizable SDMBA-ite at trail work events. Grant requests are currently being submitted so that we can fund equipping the hardhat with a propeller for the 2012 trail work season. 

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. SantosAll trouble spots on the trail had been previously flagged by SDMBA liaison Rod Simmons. 


Blue designated the need for new water diversion features, yellow for rock work (chiefly repair of blown out rock bars), and red for tread repair (deberming and outsloping). 

Thanks to the stellar turnout all flagged work was accomplished ahead of schedule. The work parties were then dispatched to switchback section of trail to enhance the emergency drains  created during December's prolonged downpour.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. SantosFollowing the completion of work the team relocated to the nearby Black Mountain Ranch Community Park for a post-work BBQ. 


Stone Brewing Co. generously donated 5 gallons of Pale Ale that was universally appreciated by the parched workers.


The prize drawing was held with the big winner being Bryan Furbee who landed the $50 gift certificate from Black Mountain Bicycles

Photo courtesy of Alejandro R. SantosJoining us for the BBQ were Sr Ranger Ed Christensen (who could only look on forlornly as we availed ourselves of the Stone Pale) and Friends of Penasquitos representative to the Black Mountain CAC Mike Kelly (seen here in the green hat). 


The Friends had a concurrent workday planting cactus in the Lusardi creek area as part of an effort to bolster the nesting range for the endangered cactus wren. 

Past cactus wren plantings have been attended by SDMBA board members Rich Julien, Russ Boggs, SDMBA liaison Rod Simmons and past SDMBA president Minette Ozaki. 

Results of the day's work
Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons
Before After
Trail tread was repaired and drainage features added to prevent future water erosion.
Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons
Before After
Rock bars and trail tread were repaired
Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons
Before After
Rock bars were greatly enhanced on this steep section to effectively drain water and regulate speed of descending cyclists.
Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons Photo courtesy of Rod Simmons
Before After
Trail tread was repaired at this rock bar. Addition of rock pile above the rock bar forms a choke to regulate speeds.



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