On the trails. ... We're hoping to build the trail at roughly riverbank height, which would serve to contain water within Pigs Lake and keep it from overflowing into the rest of the Nature Area during times of high river water. We saw what happened in June, when high flows on the river led to Pigs Lake spilling over at three locations into the rest of the Nature Area. About 10 large oaks fell during this time, because they don't like wet feet in the summer.
With this project, Pigs Lake could hold more water before we release it through some type of drainage system that doesn't erode the trails (like it did in June/July).
You can see in these photos from July how running water spilling out of Pigs Lake eroded the trails. It forced the City to close the park for about a week until the surfaces dried.
We plan on applying for the latest version of the same grant program that rejected our efforts to stabilize the riverbank at its narrowest point. This proposal, which we're calling the Mokelumne River Overlook Trails Project, is based on feedback we received from those in charge of making the awards.
This trails project would add approximately 720 feet of new "official" trail and improve about 200 feet of the existing system. It would increase access to the park on the south end of Pigs Lake, and allow visitors in wheelchairs to reach river views (that they don't have now). In the meantime, we will continue looking for options to repair the eroding riverbank with other funding.
If we have an elevated trail behind Pigs Lake, it could serve as a backstop to flooding in the Nature Area if there is a catastrophic weather event and the narrow riverbank at Pigs Lake disintegrates before we find the money to get it fixed.