Volunteers Finish Oakmont’s New Path to Trione-Annadel Park

Layer of grass and earth being removed for trail. (Photos by Keith Sauer)

Marty Thompson

Oakmont now has its own path into Trione-Annadel State Park.

Volunteers working with Ken Wells, executive director of the Sonoma County Trails Council, put the final touches on the path between the park and Stone Bridge Road on March 16.

Wells said the path needed around five dry days to cure, and with some rain in the

A load of rock arrives to form trail border as soil is removed to lay trail bed.

forecast he expected it would be ready around March 27. A sign on the path asked people to give it a few days to be ready.

“It’s a nice trail that will last a long time,” Wells said.

“I am really impressed with the way Oakmont folks turned out for the project,” Wells said. “It’s been fun working here.”

Volunteers led by Oakmonter Hugh Helm turned out for three work days to carve the path out of rocky soil adjacent to the Oakmont Community Garden. The trail links the street to the city’s bridge across Oakmont Creek and into the 5,000 acre park.

Mayor Chris Coursey rode through on his bicycle and inspected the path as work was

Mayor Chris Coursey pauses near Oakmont’s state park path. (Photo by Julie Kiil)

winding up.

BRIEF CONFUSION ABOUT CITY PLANS

About the time the trail was being finished, the city sent area residents a letter saying it planned to relocate a sewer bypass line and remove an existing steel-ribbed bridge across Oakmont Creek. However, the city issued a clarification March 22 saying the bridge that connects to the new trail was not affected — it would be pulling out another bridge near the sewer plant.

More than 30 people took part in the path-building. “I’m so grateful for all of the people who showed up,” Helm said. He called the ”coming together of the community very heartening.”

Volunteers fanned out with wheelbarrows on the hillside around the community garden to collect rocks to line the trail and fill gaps in the ground.

 

Cover laid down on trailed before top coating of crushed rock.

Others dug up the grass and laid a liner. Fine reddish-brown rock that tops the trail was spread and compacted to provide a solid surface.

The Trails Council provided tools to augment those brought by volunteers, plus a front-end loader to distribute the surfacing rock from streetside piles to the trail.

The Oakmont to Trione-Annadel connection is valued by walkers and bicyclists. Bikers ride through the park and cross onto Oakmont’s quiet streets to avoid the busy Highway 12 link between Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley. The park is a magnet for Oakmonters in search of hiking trails.

Maurice Megsamen of Oakmont was one of the first to use the new path, walking his bicycle from the uncompleted end near the treatment plant to Stone Bridge Road.

Need for a new connection to the park arose in three stages. First, the owner of Oakmont’s two RV storage lots closed one of three paths. Then property owners in White Oak prevailed in legal action with the city to ban bicycles from a path and street through their development. Recently the RV park owner posted private property signs on the lone remaining road. That path is still open, but its future is questionable.