Mike EauClaire, designated post-hole digger, at Junction 21

Dale Ball Central, April 12

On April 12 volunteers returned to Dale Ball Trails, Central Section, to put final touches on wayfinding arrow signage around Junctions 21, 22, and 23.

With this work we are finished with wayfinding on city sections of Dale Ball Trails, except for signage that will be put up soon, contingent on completion of the connector to Cerro Gordo Trailhead from the north.

First-ever “double-arrow” sign (the “scarecrow” would appreciate the concept.)



We also de-bermed and improved drainage along a few problem stretches of trail, and widened a damaged section by “de-sloughing” the top side and reinforcing a small retaining wall on the outslope of the trail.



Dale Ball South, April 19 and 27, May 8

Mike EauClaire makes quick work of an un-needed wooden water bar with a pick-mattock.

Christine Pederson uses a McLeod to tamp down dirt that has been sprinkled with water for optimal packing.

Anna Hargreaves and Tim Rogers use some teamwork to remove a stubborn one.

On April 19 we visited Dale Ball Trails’ South Section to remove more than a dozen wooden water bars that were no longer serving their intended function to drain storm water.  Unlike anywhere else in our system, the stretch of trail between Junctions 38 and 39 appears to have originally had 28 wooden water bars.

Some of these bars had become more effective as impediments to trail traffic than to erosive storm water.  Many had had their bases eroded and had become simply unsightly bumps in the trail.  In order to improve the trail tread and aesthetics, we removed fourteen wooden bars that were not serving to drain storm water or were otherwise not needed due to close proximity to an effective grade reversal.

On our second day working on this stretch, we built up and buried a few selected wooden water bars that were “keepers,” in order to enhance their function as “grade reversals.”

Removing the wood and the rebar stakes went fairly quickly, but we took care to fill in and repack the tread (spraying with water for better tamping) and to reinforce effective grade reversals along the way. We returned on April 27 to remove three more of the remaining 13 water bars and to build up (bury) others so that they are both more effective as grade reversals and provide a more suitable, multi-use trail tread.

We stashed the removed water bars near Junction 39 and hope that they can be re-purposed by Santa Fe County as sign posts for wayfinding arrows to be installed on the Talaya Hill section of Dale Ball Trails later this year.

John Parker stands in the part of the trail that is protected from erosion by the newly improved water bar in the foreground, April 27.

Building up a grade reversal on top of a wooden water bar near Junction 38 on May 8; model work up the hill in the background was built in 2014 under supervision of volunteer Henry Lanman

Standing on top of the final product – built to last! (photo by Paul Butt)

New volunteer Heather Weir de-berms and buries a wooden water bar to improve storm water run-off from the trail.




On May 8 we visited the same section of Dale Ball Trails with seven volunteers, but accessed it via the Arroyo Polay, off of Upper Canyon Rd.  In addition to de-berming, removing a few more un-needed water bars, and bolstering grade reversals north of Junction 39, we did similar work in the vicinity of Junction 38.   Since we were within view of a previous year’s work up the hill from Junction 38, we felt obligated to match the quality of that work by burying a few wooden water bars with enough rocks and dirt to make the grade reversals “built to last.”