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The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Association

Is an outdoor trail activity organization that

  • conducts hikes and
  • builds and maintains trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Founded in 1969, the Trail Association was formed under the guidance of the California State Parks and Sempervirens Fund (a non-profit land conservancy) to build and maintain trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The building of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail that year inaugurated Trail Days in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since then our activities have broadened to include weekly hikes. Trail building activities have become integral to the survival of the Santa Cruz Mountains as a recreational resource.

Our activities

  • California Trail Days

    The state-wide California Trail Days (started in 1986) takes place on the last weekend in April each year as part of Earth Day. Local volunteers meet at various points in the Santa Cruz Mountains to both build and repair trails. The Trail Association participates in this event with the cooperation of the California State Parks Foundation and Sempervirens Fund in conjunction with other recreational and conservation groups. Working together in this concerted effort since 1969, 10,000 volunteers have completed many miles of new trails through the Santa Cruz Mountains, in addition to repairing existing trails.

    New volunteers are always needed; workers in the past have included individuals, friends, families, along with members of youth groups, schools, outdoor and conservation clubs. More information will be available about California Trail Days 2001 in January.

  • Monthly trail maintenance

    On three Saturdays of each month, smaller groups maintain the trails at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park and the State Parks Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. There is always plenty of work to be done.

    Winter is the time to maintain the trail tread. The soil works well when it is moist and packs down nicely, whereas in summer the soil is too hard or too dusty to work. In winter and spring fallen trees need to be removed from the trails and the important work of improving trail drainage needs to be done. Without this maintenance the trails would quickly become eroded.

    Summer work is mainly brushing. The brush that is encroaching on the trails needs to be cut back. This work is done year round, but it is in summer, when it is harder to do the tread work, that most of the brush is removed.

    The Big Basin Group under Jeff Bleam (831)338-0774 meets on the second Saturday of each month at park headquarters.

    The Skyline-to-the-Sea group led by Al Lisin (408)252-8106 also meets on the second Saturday at Saratoga Gap - the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard).

    The third Saturday is used by Martin Donald's group. Call Martin at (650)966-1984. They also meet at Saratoga Gap.

    All groups meet at 9:00 AM. Tools are provided but be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt and boots. Bring lunch and water. Bring lots of water during the summer months.

  • Weekly Hikes

    There are hikes scheduled every Sunday of the year The hikes range from 8 to 12 miles with a few that may be a little longer and more strenuous.

    We range from Mt. Tamalpais in the north , to Mt. Diablo in the east, to Pinnacles in the south and to the ocean in the west. The Santa Cruz Mountains are excellent for hiking at any time of year. The more distant hikes to Marin County and the East Bay are usually taken in spring or fall when it is neither too hot nor too rainy.

Membership

  • Hikes, trail maintenance and other activities are open to everyone but, if you enjoy our company and our activities, we would like you to become members of the organization. It's not expensive.
    Membership type Membership dues
    Regular member $10.00
    Couples at same address $15.00
    Sponsors $40.00

    Just send your name, address, phone number and a check for annual membership to:

    SCMTA
    P.O. Box 1141
    Los Altos, CA 94023

Links to other local trails and conservation organizations and related sites

Home page updated 12/08/10

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