Every fall I get inspired to start hiking again. That’s because the days get cooler, the skies get bluer, and the San Gabriels just seem more inviting than in the heat of summer. True, we never really got the heat of summer this year, but nonetheless, fellow Hometown Pasadenan Mel Malmberg and I felt the call and met at the top of Lake to head up the Sam Merrill Trail, which survived the Station Fire intact, unlike some of our other favorite hiking areas (notably the Gabrieleno Trail, aka the JPL Trail).
Business was booming at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. Trail runners, families, dogs, mountain bikers… everyone was out, making the most of the vertical climb and the green, view-rich destination at Echo Mountain. But not everyone was there for their own personal enjoyment—a team of volunteer “trail angels” from the Angeles National Forest were working hard, raking shale off the trail, trimming branches that might snag a jogger or cyclist, and generally sprucing up the switchbacks.
So here’s a shout-out to these good souls, some of whom are connected with the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA) and some of whom volunteer through the many programs organized by Angeles National Forest. If you’d like to help with trail maintenance, tree planting (desperately needed after the Station Fire), please go to ANF’s volunteer site here.
In the meantime, thanks to Babz and friends! We’re deeply grateful.