Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?

What happens to the soil when people travel off of designated trails and routes? This article was written in for hikers in areas with frequent usage.  In Juniper Flats hikers are allowed to go off trail because the density of hikers and frequency of usage is low.  As more people hike in the area, management will reevaluate their policy.

Motorized vehicles weigh more than hikers and apply more force with rotating tires. As a result, the impacts of riding or driving off of designated routes is much greater. In the Juniper Flats Area, operation of motorized vehicles is only allowed on designated routes.  The concepts explained in the re-blogged article also apply to operation of motorized vehicles off of designated routes.

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

Question: Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?

Answer: People love to be outdoors, and soil is an important contributor to a good outing, whether you are hiking, mountain biking, painting, or just enjoying nature. But humans can have significant impacts on the soil. When we walk on soil, our body weight compresses the soil. Soil compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing the space between them. This has several effects.

Uncompacted, loose soil has more pores for air and water between soil particles. Uncompacted, loose soil has more pores for air and water between soil particles.

In the figure to the right, you can see that soil particles come in various sizes. In between the particles are open spaces, or “pores”. These pores allow air and water to move through the soil. Air is important because microbes living in soil pores use some of the nitrogen and other…

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Caring for Arrastre Waterfall

Many people visit and care for Arrastre Waterfall Through the years I may have visited Arrastre Waterfall hundreds of times. It is a popular local attraction in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, accessed by Bowen Ranch Rd, near Apple Valley -  Arrastre Falls Trail Head.  We pick up trash left by others, and try to leave the area better … Continue reading Caring for Arrastre Waterfall

Fall Photo Contest Entries

The Fall Photo Contest deadline of December 15 has past. Thank you to those who took their time to enter the contest! We received 15 entries, but one was disqualified because it was not taken in the Juniper Flats Area. The judges will be looking carefully at the other 14 entries during the next week or … Continue reading Fall Photo Contest Entries

Fall Photo Contest Kick Off

On Saturday, November 12 2016, Friends of Juniper Flats kicked off their first ever fall photo contest at the Juniper Flats Public Outreach Event. The Outreach event was a joint effort with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and Friends of Juniper Flats. We took advantage of  a beautiful canopy of willows and wild grapes for … Continue reading Fall Photo Contest Kick Off

Juniper Flats Public Outreach Event

On Saturday, November 12, 2016 Friends of Juniper Flats will be helping the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) with an event  to welcome visitors to the Juniper Flats Area and help the public understand the purpose of the Restoration Project and how the public funds (OHMVR grant--OHMVR grant allocations ) are being spent. Friends of … Continue reading Juniper Flats Public Outreach Event

Magical Fall Moments in the Juniper Flats Area

  Fall colors are out in the Juniper Flats Area. Last week I visited the Juniper Flats Area with my husband to find some fall colors.  Looking at the hills south of Apple Valley you may think it a strange place to look for fall colors. If you just drive the roads you are likely … Continue reading Magical Fall Moments in the Juniper Flats Area