Back in 2009, over 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest was torched by the Station Fire. Since then the Forest Service, with the help of CORBA (Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association) and other organizations like MWBA (Mount Wilson Bicycling Association) have begun the slow and steady process of re-opening over a dozen trails in the area. One of those unfortunate closures is the Ken Burton Trail.
Beginning at the top of Brown Mountain, Ken Burton will eventually re-connect to the Gabrielino trail and Oakwilde Campground, making it possible to bite off a large chunk of singletrack when you connect neighboring loops. As it sits right now, the trail is wildly overgrown with various species of plantlife. Many of it is easy enough to clear with loppers or other hand tools and luckily, there are no fallen trees obstructing crews from working.
So, how do you get a crew, food, water and tools up a 7 mile climb that gains over 2,000′ of elevation on singletrack? There’s only one way in the ANF: by bike or by foot. Steve from CORBA, along with help from his friends, Robin and Michael, along with volunteers from other organizations all packed in their necessary supplies for a morning’s work in the San Gabriel Mountains…
After an hour or so of climbing in the morning light, we reached the saddle where everyone regrouped and split up duties for the day. Seasoned trail working vets would man the power tools, one team would work on a washout and the rest of us would be trimming, cutting, clearing, raking and grooming. We were allowed to use power tools until 1pm, giving us a solid morning of work.
If you’re interested in helping out, stay tuned on CORBA and follow the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association’s Facebook page. This weekend, they’re putting in work on Fern Truck Trail and Brown Mtn.