Many of the trails we hike in the Big Sur backcountry are historic, made by the Esselen People or non-native settlers long before Highway One was built. Despite their age, the trails don’t last long without care in this rugged country. It takes hundreds of hours of work from countless volunteers to keep them open for hikers and all of our more-than-human relations who live full time in the wild. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance does the lion’s share of this stewardship, and we bow deeply to them! These heroic folks don’t have the resources to attend to every inch of trail though, so for the last couple years we’ve spent some time in early Spring slowly clearing and improving the trails that we use for our Big Sur Pilgrimages.
Here are a few pictures from a clearing trip we made with our friends Juniper Ridge which met up with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance. Digging in and taking responsibility for a place feels good, and is another deeper dimension of inhabitation. If you love Big Sur, we strongly recommend volunteering sometime with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance, or make a donation to support their work.