Here in the Eastern Sierra, trails are a way of life. Whether riding through the twists and turns of the forest and sagebrush, walking out to a favorite fishing spot, or hiking in search of a stunning vista or a pristine lake, trails help us have fun getting there. Trails are becoming more important as people are looking for more economical forms of recreation, and have become a major part of the experience for visitors to Inyo and Mono counties. Given how much we use them, our trails need our help.
Across the country, volunteer events like National Trails Day give folks an opportunity to get out and give back to their favorite trails. Now in its twenty-first year, National Trails Day is a celebration of the roads, rails, bike paths and trails providing pathways into nature across America, and on June 1, the dirt was flying in celebration. More than 70 people, from across the Eastern Sierra and beyond, volunteered at National Trails Day events organized by Friends of the Inyo, MLTPA, and other partners.
In the Mammoth Lakes Basin, more than 50 people showed up to build, reconstruct and enhance the mountain bike and hiking trails around Panorama Dome at the mouth of the Mammoth Lakes Basin. The Panorama Dome trails project kicked off the fifth annual Summer of Stewardship Trail Days – a series of volunteer trail projects in and around Mammoth Lakes coordinated by the Inyo National Forest, the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA) and Friends of the Inyo with funding from the Town of Mammoth Lakes. In partnership with Fat Bike Mammoth and Footloose Sports, volunteers enjoyed bagels provided by the Old New York Deli & Bagel Co. and lunch sponsored by Sunrise Rotary from Bleu Handcrafted Foods, washed down with Mammoth Brewing Company’s own root beer. A well deserved meal considering they reconstructed 4,118 feet of mountain bike singletrack, maintained another 3,347 feet of bike trial, and rebuilt 1,266 feet of hiking trail, totaling over a mile and half of trail work in just three hours!
Across the county line in the southern White Mountains more volunteers came out to provide some much needed TLC to the Black Canyon connector trail. This multi-use singletrack trail dropping down from the White Mountain Road down into Black Canyon is popular with mountain bikers, motorcyclists and hikers. Despite the heat, a crew representing all user groups repaired and maintained more than 2.5 miles of the trail.
With the momentum of successes and enthusiasm from the National Trails Day events, there is an entire summer of volunteer stewardship opportunities to look forward to across the Eastside. Join Friends of the Inyo and the June Lake Trails Committee on June 22 for the fourth annual June Lake Trails Day. (See the calendar for info.) Also coming up, five more Summer of Stewardship events in the Mammoth Lakes area. There are also opportunities to volunteer in the backcountry on four day stewardship projects in the Inyo Mountains Wilderness and Boundary Peak Wilderness. Make sure to check out friendsoftheinyo.org and mltpa.org for information about these and other upcoming opportunities to get involved and give back to your public lands and trails.
(Photo courtesy Town of Mammoth Lakes/Text courtesy Friends of the Inyo)