Trail Day - Stile Ranch Trail Rebuilding

On Saturday, April 22, 2000, volunteers of all ages and from all over the San Jose area met at Santa Teresa County Park to help rebuild the Stile Ranch Trail. About 20 people were from the Friends of Santa Teresa Park (FOSTP), who helped promote the trail rebuilding in conjuction with the County Parks Department.. About 120 people total showed up from all over the county. They met at the Pueblo picnic area in the morning and were transported to the Stile Ranch Trailhead in the Almaden Valley at San Vicente Avenue and Fortini Road. It was a cloudy day. Rain had been predicted, but didn't show up until after the trail rebuilding was over. The cloudy weather provided a cool working environment, which was welcome because rebuilding the rocky trail was hard work.

The Stile Ranch trail runs from the Almaden Valley into the heart of Santa Teresa Park along an easement provided by IBM as part of deal for allowing it to build its neighboring Almaden Research Center. The trail climbs up a steep, rocky hill on a series of switchbacks. The trail was originally built with the aid of dynamite and jackhammers a decade ago. The trail took about 3 years to build, with the help of volunteers and funding from IBM.

A staging area was set up near the trailhead. Volunteers signed in and grabbed a snack and water provided by the parks department. Crews of volunteers grabbed picks, shovels, and rakes and made their way up the narrow trail, which were lined with dazzling blooms of wildflowers.

Trail maintenance involved filling in ruts caused by erosion and building water bars across the trail to prevent future erosion. This wasn't easy because the rocky hillside had only thin patches of topsoil. Fortunately, several people had picks, which were useful in breaking up the soft sedimentary rock into gravel. Groups of workers of all ages spread themselves along the hillside. 

Work finished at noon. Everyone marched down the hill and along the Fortini Trail to the old Rosetto Ranch site. In this area, Ginina Fortini and husband Daniel Rosetto ran a resort known as the Club 14E. The facility, which consisted of a swimming pool and picnic areas, was started in the 1920's and closed in the 1970's. The pool is dry now, and most of the picnic tables are gone, but the area, shaded by tall trees and bisected by a rock-lined creek, is still a fine place for a picnic. This area is normally closed to the public, but for this occasion, the hungry volunteers got to enjoy a hot dog lunch there. 

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger pictures:
Stile Ranch trailhead on San Vicente Avenue Volunteers heading up the Stile Ranch Trail  Oak Grove High School students working Kids working on the trail 
Park maintenance worker Lars giving instructions on trail maintenance Two groups of teens filling trail ruts  Mike Boulland, president of FOSTP, leading volunteers uphill  Adults helped on the trail, too 
Picks were useful on the rocky trail  Mike Boulland shaking hands with park ranger Chris, who helps maintain the park trails Coming down from the trail after a hard morning's work Back at the staging area near the trail entrance
The tool trailer by the trailhead Serving a hot dog lunch at the Rosetto Ranch picnic area Lining up at the lunch table John Heenan, park's volunteer coordinator, lunching with Roy Ichinaga and other volunteers

Pictures taken 4/22/2000 

Created 4/22/2000 by Ronald Horii for the Friends of Santa Teresa Park