January 16, South Canopy Trails: Of the east-west canopy trails on the south side of the Tijuana River Channel, Cathedral Trail has deep mud and trash blocking several sections of the path; but Mitigation Trail (center section inside the fence) and Bridal Path trail (westernmost end) have terrific footing and only surface mud in a few sections. There are medium size (2 – 4 inch diameter) tree debris throughout the trails that horses have traversed.
North Canopy Trails: The PERL Road Trail from Four Corners to the intersection of the Diagonal Trail is clear with good footing. From the intersection proceeding east onto the Lower Wycliff Trail is an adventure for only the best of trail horses and riders. Up to 12-inch diameter wood trunks and branches are strewn through large sections, fallen tree bramble narrows the trail and reduces the height, and some trunks lay across the path. Footing is generally solid, but at least 30% of the trail distance has slick or fetlock deep mud. The mud is of the consistency where most well-shod horses might not lose shoes, but within a few more days of drying the mud will become stickier, still be fetlock deep, and probably suck off shoes. Although we rode the entire length of Lower Wycliff Trail, I had to reverse and leave the original (east section) Upper Wycliff Trail because of very deep mud. After crossing south on Saturn Blvd Trail (fetlock deep in sections) over to mid Cathedral, we rode east up to the Cathedral trailhead and crossing. I rode a calm, unshod horse who often was forced to make small, challenging detours to get around unpassable sections.
In three or four weeks with dry weather, the muddiest trails should be fine again. Effie May Crossing probably will not be passable due to water and trash until summer. END.