The VWA Trail Crew



"Aargh - git ta work, ye brush-bustin' mattock monkeys!"

Looking for Big Sur Backcountry adventures? Join a VWA-USFS trail team!

YOU need to join the VWA Trail Crew!

  • Why? The People - meet like minded people who are interested in making the Big Sur Area trails easier to travel.
  • Why? The Place - the Ventana Wilderness is an unparalleled area of beauty and wonder. It can snow in the winter, and has amazing views of both the Big Sur Coast and interior valleys - and incredible views of the sky at night.
  • Why? The Unique experience - VWA trail crews perform traditional trail work, including logging using crosscut saws.
  • Why? The Food! The foundation of the VWA trail crew is good people, good times, and GREAT food!

    Come join us and see what all the fuss is about!

    Sign Up for Trail Crew Email Notifications  |  Join VWA  |  Join or Donate Online

    OR contact to start your adventure today!



    The all-volunteer VWA Trail Crew was formed in early 2001 in response to the challenge of reclaiming the incredibly scenic Black Cone Trail deep in the heart of the Ventana Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. The crew's first work outing was in the Spring of that year, during which 11 volunteers spent 3 days clearing burnt brush and snags from approximately 4 miles of the BCT. Since that time members of the VWA Trail Crew have performed a wide array of backcountry trail maintenance, including brushing the Willow Creek Trail in Willow Creek (near Big Sur) as well as assisted the Forest Service in repairing the bulldozer-damaged Skinner Ridge Trail as part of a National Public Lands Day event in September, 2001.

    VWA Trail Crew outings vary widely in their intensity of labor. Some entail heavy earthwork with Pulaskis, McLeods and mattocks, while others may consist mainly of pruning back encroaching brush with hand shears and folding saws as we hike the beautiful Big Sur area backcountry trails. But constant across all VWA Trail Crew trips is safety, fun and camaraderie. Guidance and tutelage about the safe, proper and most efficient use of tools is always offered, but outing participants are never pushed to work harder or longer than they care to, and are always free to put down their tools and take a break or a walk as they see fit.

    The VWA Trail Crew offers both day-long outings as well as multi-day backpack events. All tools are provided, but participants must bring their own work gloves and camping gear as applicable, and be ready to have fun and enjoy the wonderful feeling that only backcountry volunteer labor can provide.

    3 June 2006:
    VWA Trail Crew Earns National Recognition!
    Find out more...


    To find out more about the VWA Trail Crew and upcoming outings in the greater Big Sur area of the Los Padres National Forest, please submit your contact information in the box below and we'll add you to the trailcrew email notification list. If you want to learn even more about trailwork in an open forum setting, consider subscribing to the Trailcrew email discussion list.

    If you still have unanswered questions or are ready to get involved, please contact VWA Trail Crew Coordinator Dave Knapp at