Corps Conserving Trails to Grover Hot Springs

The new boardwalk allows for water to flow better through Grover Meadow without causing damage to the trail and the landscape. | Courtesy California Conservation Corps

Day hikers and campers at Grover Hot Springs State Park in Markleeville will appreciate the upgrade to the trail from the meadow campground to the hot spring pools. California State Parks and Alpine Watershed Group have partnered with California Conservation Corps to rebuild the trail to protect it against spring run-off and high traffic erosion. A crew of 18- to 25-year-olds is spending every other week at the park, hauling wheelbarrows full of road base, chiseling rocks and cutting wood beams for bridges.

The corps members from the CCC’s nearby Tahoe Center are restoring the trail and making it ADA accessible by adding an 800-foot elevated boardwalk. The boardwalk allows wheelchair users to cross Grover Meadow. As the trail twists and turns to the west, additional boardwalks, bridges and a sturdy 5-foot-wide trail are being built.

Corps members are using boulders to establish the sides of the trail. Aggregate is stuffed into the gaps where it hardens like asphalt. The crew is also adding bull rails — 4-inch-tall boards to keep wheeled devices from getting too close to the edge. The new trail is designed to last for decades, something corps members take pride in knowing.

“That’s what’s really cool,” said corps member Jaime Knox from Wallace in Calaveras County. “In 20 or 30 years I can come back and show my children, my family, and say, ‘I did this trail. I did this rock right there.’ I would never have known about this place if I didn’t’ work here. It’s a small park, but it’s so beautiful.” | ccc.ca.gov