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 »

Improved Hiking Access through Forest Service Partnership

By on April 30, 2015 in Newsletter

It’s been a good month for improved hiking access with projects put in place in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS). The Foothill Trail adopt-a-trail agreement and the Pratt Trailhead rehab project have finally launched. Heidi Anderson, the Ojai District’s Wilderness Trails Manager and temporary duty District Ranger Yolanda Saldana worked with OVLC to make it all happen.

One of the things that makes the recently acquired Valley View Preserve so compelling are the number of trail connections made possible. Besides OVLC’s opening of Foothill, Fox Canyon and Luci’s trails on the preserve, several trail links exist to and from the neighboring Los Padres National Forest. Two links head into the preserve on USFS land, hence the need for an adopt-a-trail agreement. This allows, OVLC to take on the responsibility for trail maintenance on the USFS portion of the trail. OVLC trail crew volunteers recently brushed those portions allowing much better access. Two new trail directional signs were installed at Fuelbreak Road and Pratt Trail guiding visitors to the preserve.

The Forest Service’s Pratt Trailhead is reachable by turning west at the top of North Signal Street on a signed dirt road. The trailhead affords trail users access to Cozy Dell Canyon and the Nordhoff Lookout, as well as the Valley View Preserve which is about a mile up. OVLC noticed the trailhead was in a severe state of disrepair. Fencing was broken and falling down and signage trashed. The parking surface badly eroded, helped along by teenagers doing donuts. Partying and hanging out was occurring making the place unattractive for recreationists. Enter OVLC and a partnership with the USFS along with Wild About Ojai funding and voila, an opportunity was seized upon to improve the trailhead. Trails Manager Heidi Anderson said that the Ojai District “is thrilled to get this trailhead improved” and she got their wild lands firefighters onboard to clean out brush, and widened the Pratt Trail. OVLC volunteers repaired, installed and repainted entry fencing and replaced signage. Yet to come is phase 2 of the project slated to tear down the rest of the decrepit fencing and define the parking area with boulders. Next comes grading and making the parking area “one way” to cut down on spin outs by teenagers in 4x’s. The permit to do the second phase has just come through from the owner of the land, the Ventura County Watershed Protection Agency, another OVLC partner. When community partners act together great things can happen.

Early morning sunrise on the Foothill Trail; Pratt Trailhead entry

Early morning sunrise on the Foothill Trail; Pratt Trailhead entry

Local girl Isabelle helps paint

Local girl Isabelle helps paint


Bob’s Fence of Ojai installs new fencing.

Bob’s Fence of Ojai installs new fencing.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.