Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the City of Newport Beach have enhanced the trail system at Buck Gully Reserve to improve the user experience for local nature lovers during the recent government mandated closure due to COVID-19.
“During the closure, the Irvine Ranch Conservancy Infrastructure Crew was able to operate heavy equipment safely on the narrow trail system and accelerate improvement projects,” said Adam Maywhort, Director of Planning & Infrastructure at Irvine Ranch Conservancy.
Starting on May 11, Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Planning and Infrastructure Crew used the temporary trail closure as an opportunity to repair and enhance the Buck Gully trail system in the hopes of improving the sustainability of the trail while making it more enjoyable for hikers and bikers.
During this time, the crew was able to cut back overgrown vegetation and widen the trail for better visibility, reroute two sections of the trail adjacent to the creek so they are more sustainable, repair surface erosion at the trailhead, and incorporate natural surface drains and tread re-contouring at more than 18 locations to eliminate channelization of water and bank edge erosion.
Rip-rap and gravel were also incorporated into more than 1,000 lineal feet of trailhead to help armor the tread and create an all-weather sustainable surface.
“The crew was able to complete an extensive amount of repairs that will provide an overall better user experience in this area,” said Maywhort. “Vegetation from late, heavy seasonal rains had overtaken the trail and the trailhead had numerous areas with accelerated erosion and two significant bank failures. Also, the concrete bridge at the 5th and Poppy entrance had extrinsic debris from storm related creek overflow.”
Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the City of Newport Beach will plan to continue improving the Buck Gully trail system with additional enhancements scheduled for Fall 2020.
The Buck Gully trail system is open daily from dawn to dusk for self-guided access. One-way bike traffic is permitted. All visitors must practice physical distancing and wear face coverings while enjoying trails. To learn more about Buck Gully Reserve visit www.LetsGoOutside.org or www.NewportBeachCA.gov.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public’s connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship.
The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more.
For more information, visit www.letsgooutside.org.