To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Allan Jacobs Trail Update

The progress continues on building the newest OVLC trail in the Ventura River Preserve. As of October, we’ve had 108 people, both volunteers and staff, working on the Allan Jacobs Trail. So far we have created 791 feet of trail! This averages out to about 1.94 feet of trail built per person per hour. Why is this trail building process taking so much time considering that there isn’t much full grown chaparral slowing us down?

While the chaparral branches may be gone, the root wads sure aren’t. Anywhere on the trail that we encounter the burned husk of a chaparral plant, we have to dig into the soil, cut the roots, and pry the wad out of the ground (don’t worry, no oak trees will be harmed in the making of this trail). Unfortunately, we can’t just flush cut the stumps down to the soil level because, over time, erosion from trail use and rainwater would expose the underlying root system. This would create future problems like tripping hazards that would cause hikers to go around the root wad and expand the trail beyond its acceptable size.

So, we dig, we hack, we pry and we build on! It doesn’t help our speed that we are currently in the most complicated section of the trail, building through a large drainage and constructing switchbacks up a steep hill. The more technical features we have, like the switchbacks, the longer it takes to build them. Fortunately, there aren’t too many spots like this on the 6,600-feet of this new trail that we have yet to build.

Do you know what really helps us get through difficult areas and increases our trail output? Volunteers! And even better – returning volunteers! We have community volunteer days once a week and have had dedicated volunteers coming back again and again. It’s through the efforts of all of our volunteers that we’ll get this done. Though this might be a slow build, the work completed so far is unquestionably great and constructed with high standards. This community is building a wonderful trail in honor of Allan Jacobs and we can’t wait until you can take a hike on this trail.

Interested in getting more involved with the OVLC? There is always work to be done on the trail, in the office, and for events. Fill out an application here »

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