Buck Gully

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Many Newport Beach residents have enjoyed the trails in the Buck Gully Reserve, but now the trails are a lot more user-friendly – and habitat-friendly. A recent trail renovation project made possible by the City of Newport Beach, State of California and Irvine Ranch Conservancy included the dramatic placement of four bridges by helicopter, as well as other improvements along the three-mile gully.
The bridges span areas that were previously traversed in ways that weren’t optimum for the traveler, or for the ecosystem. Conservationists and planners call trails like the ones forged in Buck Gully “social trails,” paths that create opportunities for weed invasion and erosion.
In sections where a social trail needed to be moved, the trail was re-routed in a way that blends seamlessly into the environment. For instance, one social trail was close to the stream that runs the length of Buck Gully, causing erosion that could affect vegetation and wildlife. The creek-side trail was moved to a more sustainable location, and drainage across the trails was also improved by creating retention walls, new drainage paths and sloped trails to improve runoff.
Through its partnership with the City, the Irvine Ranch Conservancy will lead regular public programs in Buck Gully, including docent-led hikes, mountain bike rides, and volunteer programs such as trail maintenance and weed removal. Buck Gully is open daily from dawn to dusk, but dogs are not allowed in the reserve. Not only does the presence of dogs disturb native wildlife routines, but dogs are also more susceptible to snake bites while wandering around on the trail. Please visit http://www.irlandmarks.org/
The improvements are part of the City of Newport’s Resource and Recreation Management Plan for the 300-acre Buck Gully Reserve. Upper Buck Gully includes two trails: Buck Gully Trail, 2.55 miles; and Bobcat Trail, .68 miles. Click here to view the Fuel Modification report.