Major Restoration of Backbone Trail Underway

"These improvements will improve safety for everyone that uses this popular trail," says Rep. Brad Sherman.

California State Parks is working to restore a section of the 65-mile Backbone Trail, which stretches from Pacific Palisades to Point Mugu.

The trail traverses the Santa Monica Mountains, starting in Topanga State Park. The improvements are focused on a 10-mile stretch along Rogers Road, 18 landslides and the “Chicken Ridge” bridge in Topanga State Park.

"The Backbone Trail provides thousands of hikers, bicyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts with an unparalleled recreational experience through the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, who secured federal funds for the project. 

"These improvements will enhance that experience and improve safety for everyone that uses this popular trail," Sherman continued.

Craig Sap, Angeles Superintendent for California State Parks, said the updates are much needed.

“The results of the work are already being recognized by the public as we have received many letters and emails thanking State Parks for improving the visitor experience,” Sap said.

Sherman began working with the National Park Service and California State Parks when concerns were raised about the condition of the trail.

Work is expected to be completed on all the improvements in 2013.

George August 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM
The area they're talking about is already HEAVILY used by hikers/bikers located just above Will Rogers State Park. I doubt it's an area used to grow pot because it is not that remote and there is so much foot/bike traffic up there.
Robert Coutts August 16, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I always thought that the Backbone Trail was a great place to get some exercise while checking out things like the ridge-lines or waterfalls or wildlife like I just did this morning. Perhaps i should have brought a drug-sniffing dog and called the drug enforcement people or looked for drug users, or told people to look out for drugs under the oaks ..... I guess what you see depends on your point of view.
Jeff Jost August 20, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I agree with George ... the entire Backbone trail north and south of Chicken Bridge is already heavily traveled by both hikers and bikers. I was just up there a couple of weeks ago and saw the work they are doing. IMO, it's nice to see this trail maintained and widened. Can't wait to get back up there again as soon as it cools down!
Don Jagg August 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM
The "improvements" have been underway for several months. What they are basically doing is restoring the road, which had degraded to a single track trail in many sections. I could understand if they were doing this for the purpose of better fire prevention and control, but to say that it is to improve the hiking experience is plain wrong. The good thing about this is that countless volunteer trail maintainers can concentrate on other areas.
Grant D August 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Personally, I liked it over grown and rutted. It's too groomed and I don't feel like I'm really escaping the clutches of urban living. I'm expecting an old lady in her cadillac to come strolling by. The adventure and challenge is gone.


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