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Mansfield Ravine Trail

Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby Al Normandin on Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:11 pm

Date Hiked: January 8, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail conditions very similar to my submission a year ago. Great trail at the beginning but gets brushy with a few trees down as you get further up the trail. No dangerous spots, as the supporting structure of the original trail and road is excellent. The trail still dead ends at snake rock without any attempts to make a feeble trail that plods on beyond the end.
Al Normandin

Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby Al Normandin on Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:57 am

Date Hiked: January 8, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Several trees down in the trail. Many could be climbed over, others had to be hiked around. Loose branches were cleared, and the trail was easily passable. Met an elderly hiker who lived along the trial many years ago. He called the end of the trail with the beautiful lookout "Snake Rock".
Al Normandin

Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:58 pm

Date Hiked: July 8, 2014
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

Someone has been doing some intense work on this trail - it's in the best shape I've ever seen. In particular, a mess high up on the trail has been cleared out.
Big Sur Trailmap:
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Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby jbl on Sat May 03, 2014 10:48 pm

Date Hiked: May 3, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A group of us came down the Mansfield Ravine Trail today. The upper (narrower) section (final ~1/3) has deteriorated quite a bit since January and my rating is downgraded to Passable; numerous trees and branches of various sizes have come down (all negotiable) and the brush (and small, low redwood branches) is encroaching a lot, especially in the last 1/3 mile. The lower (wider) section (first ~2/3) is Wilderness Freeway. This is still one of the most beautiful unknown trails in the area.
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Mansfield Ravine/Willett Trail cont. up to Plaskett Ridge Rd

Postby jbl on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:46 am

Date Hiked: January 18, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked up the Mansfield Ravine/Willett Trail with 4 others (one of whom was 4-legged) on Saturday, and found it to be Clear to Wilderness Freeway for its entire length.

There were a few trees down along the trail, some of which we were able to clear but some of which will require a bigger saw (here are a few):
01-mansfield-tree 1.JPG
We couldn't do anything with this tree

02a-mansfield-tree 2 before.JPG
Another tree-before...

02b-mansfield-tree 2 after.JPG
...and after

03-mansfield-downed tree.JPG
Fortunately you can easily get around this one

The tread is in great shape, and all along the trail there is much impressive rockwork, including the below:
00-mansfield bridge and terrace.jpeg
Stone Stairs; there is also some incredible rockwork (not shown in picture) on the side of the hill here

04-mansfield-rock work.JPG
Rockwork supporting trail

The brush has been cut back since my last time up here so you rarely need to push through anything.

Once we reached the end of the trail (this is in forest; there’s very small clearing where the trail ends, and a kind of rocky platform to the left with great views down canyon), we headed up towards the Shouey Ridge on a use trail that doubles back from where the Mansfield Ravine Trail ends. [PS--on a prior occasion I explored the "continuation" of the Mansfield Ravine Trail past the ostensible end of the trail (the trail continues a bit beyond this point deeper into the head of the ravine) but the route quickly petered out, the brush (and fallen branches and trees) blocked the way, the gully got extremely steep and deep and I was unable to find a pathway forward]

A very big tree has fallen across the use trail about 100’ up and this brought other things down with it, but there seems to be an established workaround going just above this mess; the use trail generally follows a contour in the reverse direction from the Mansfield trail below and eventually comes out onto a steep grassy subridge of the Shouey Ridge; at that spot there are some great ocean views and this view of Twin and Cone Peaks:
05-mansfield-cone peak view.JPG
@2,000', first views of Twin and Cone Peak

We headed up this subridge to the Shouey Ridge, and then followed the Shouey Ridge all the way to the top where it hits the Plaskett Ridge Road at about 3,100’:
06-shouey-knarled oak.JPG
Knarled Oak along Shouey Ridge

On the way up Shouey Ridge...

...getting closer to the top

Lunch in the shade of a Manzanita

Twin, Cone and Serra Peaks viewed from our Lunch Spot

10-shouey-backyard view.JPG
Someone's backyard near Plaskett Ridge Road

11-shouey-view from the top.JPG
View from the Plaskett Ridge Road
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Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:04 pm

Dar, I and six others hiked this trail in the morning drizzle in Pacific Valley. It was a wonderful hike, with lots of elevation gain. The Redwoods were beautiful, green foliage everywhere.

Don't be mistaken, this trail can be steep for a good portion of the time. but is well worth the hike.

Conditions are as follows:

Pacific Valley Ranger Station to Junction of South Prewitt Take of - Wilderness Freeway.
Junction South Prewitt Creek to end of road Wilderness Freeway.

Once you cross the wooden bridge, take the right trail. It narrows significantly but is very wide according to Big Sur standards. The trail climbs through the redwoods 1000 feet to another trail junction.
This section of trail is clear.
The trail to the right climbs to a wooden bench , then switches back into the forest. It has been blocked by a rock wall as of this point. It looks like there was a nasty slide on this trail that needs clearing before it is open again.

We continued up the left fork, where the trail narrowed yet again. lost more encroaching brush, but the trail was easy to follow, there are several trees across this section of trail. We climbed up another 800 feet to a rocky outcropping with views down the canyon. It was a good climb for all of us. The rain stopped so we could enjoy lunch.
This Section's Trail Condition, Clear to Passable

We are not sure if the trail continues beyond this point, but it would be worth exploring. Lots of great country up this ravine.

As side note, this trail is also called the Willet Trail
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Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby DavidMA on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:08 am

Date Hiked: April 13, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked the ravine and it is a splendid trail. The builder of that trail did a lot of work on the tread. The tread is in great shape, wide, well drained, not a lot of problems. Did a lot of downfall clearing and observed the recent clearing that JBL had completed. We cleared as much as we could all the way to the top. There are a couple of larger trees about half way up that our smaller saws couldn't clear. A lot of the downfall we pushed over the side. We made it to the end and it it clear for the most part except for one or two downed trees. Great trail.

Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:49 am

Date Hiked: May 19, 2012
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

I hiked up to just before the "major" fork (at "cow patty gully") with my brother-in-law and nephew with the goal of showing them this awesome spot and doing what clearing we could do in the limited time we had.

First, the fire crew or someone else has done a nice job of clearing and widening the initial "brush alley" section from the fire station up to the jeep road near the water tank. Thanks much for that, as the constantly encroaching (and often above head level) poison oak in this section can make for an unpleasant start of the hike.

Along the stretch of trail once you get into Mansfield Ravine proper things were clear until just after the first big switchback, and from there to where we stopped there were a few small trees down that we cleared away (the downed trees in this section that I had noted in my post from last October had been removed, these were new). Had we had more time we would have gone further up to do what we could about some of what was noted in the prior post. I'm going to try to get up there in the next month or so to do what I can in that upper section.

Below are some pictures of what we did.

This is a very beautiful trail and I highly recommend it.









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Re: Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby Phil on Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:28 pm

Date Hiked: December 20, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident) This was true until we reached the totally blocked part of the trail

We hiked the Mansfield/Willett trail for the first time, and took the "long" trail (straight at the the unmarked fork not the uphill right trail). The tread was good, but quite a few tan oaks were down that needed to be crawled thru or over, should have brought a saw with me. Also a lot of small tree debris for the recent wind event that we scooted off the trail. We got a good way up the trail but were eventually stopped by what appeared to be a good size tree (maybe a small redwood) that was down along the length of the trail, and which had bought several other trees down with it.
There were still cow patties in a small clearing off the trail, and we both remarked that we didn't see any poison oak. (maybe the cows ate it?).
Anyway a surprisingly beautiful and somewhat strenuous hike up, with the trail conditions making for a speedy and safe hike down.
Just saw a couple of ticks which we picked up down near the pampas grass at bottom.
We spoke with a FS ranger down at the bottom and gave him a trail report, and he indicated that they would do some trail clearing in the future. The gravel jeep road had been cleared very recently since the last rain, and drainage gulleys had been made to divert water off the road.
Pampas at start needs to be eliminated.
A great addition to the trail system. Thank you Mr. Willett for all the hard work constructing this trail over the last 40 years.

Mansfield Ravine Trail

Postby jbl on Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:47 pm

Date Hiked: October 9, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

It's been 4 months since my last visit and the conditions have changed slightly.

The trail is Wilderness Highway for the first half, then Clear to the trail terminus at the old cabin site.

There are a total of 7 downed trees currently across the trail (we cleared a few small trees and/or branches to the extent that we could with the small saw I had brought), ranging from 6"-18"; the first two (as you go up the trail) are together and you must go under them (which you can do by crouching); the remaining five are all easy stepovers.

There is minor brush encroachment over the final mile or so of the trail.

As is the case with virtually any trail in the Ventana/Silver Peak Wildernesses, poison oak is abundant, but for the most part it is at knee level or below on this trail.

The cow "leavings" that I had seen on the section of trail near the prominent fork (where the actual trail stays left and the alternate trail forks uphill to the right) were still there and we say a very steep track that the cows apparently have used to come down at the major gully just before that fork; hopefully something will be done to prevent the cows from coming down to the trail in the future.

Who is responsible for trail signage--there currently is none that directs you to this trail--at the turnoff to the Prewitt Loop Trail there's a sign that says "Trail" and points you off in that direction, but someone who isn't knowledgeable about this trail would not know that there is also a trail (this trail) straight ahead. It would be great to replace/supplement that Trail sign with something that indicated that the Mansfield Ravine (Willett?) trail was straight ahead.

I applaud Jack's work in repairing the trail at the downed redwood noted in my June posting; the damage to the trail at that spot was extensive, and Jack's repairs were so good that I almost couldn't identify the spot where the problem had been.
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