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Contact Us: 909/867.3536
Email: [email protected]

San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust
Nonprofit Organization 501(C)(3)
Tax ID # 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Rescuing Lake Arrowhead's Best Forest

Ongoing Restoration of the Arrowhead Ridge Site

Since buying the 80-acre parcel at 201 Grass Valley Road (across from the Lake Arrowhead Country Club) in April 2011, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust has devoted extensive effort to the stewardship of this magnificent forest site rescued from a failed subdivision.

With lots of volunteer help, hundreds of hours have been spent to remove 40 truckloads of construction debris and to load a huge drop-off container with dozens of large 20-foot-long degraded plastic pipes left scattered about the site.  These were trucked away to be recycled.

The Land Trust has reduced the erosion problem, and the landscape has stabilized itself with remarkable regeneration of tree growth.

A conceptual plan for site restoration has been designed and funding approved from Natural Resources Conservation Service for slope repair.  SBMLT received added help from Boeing Foundation’s Employee Community Fund.  So far the rescue efforts are a big success.

Trail Completed in Memory of Will Abell

Completion of a 2-mile loop trail through the classic forest at Arrowhead Ridge was made possible this fall by generous private donations to the Land Trust in honor and memory of Will Abell.

These funds enabled the Land Trust to utilize trail crews from the San Bernardino Urban Conservation Corps, an organization that recruits inner city youths.

Will Abell, who passed away in August 2012, was one of the Land Trust’s outstanding volunteers. In addition to other SBMLT projects, he helped build the first segment of the new trail, which now allows hikers to fully experience one of our local mountain’s best forests. As a lifetime mountain resident and local artist, he greatly enjoyed the wildlife and scenic surroundings of our outstanding national forest. The Will Abell  Memorial Trail named in his honor, goes through a truly artistic part of our mountain environment.

The beauty of Arrowhead Ridge is recognized as a prime example of a classic southern Sierran native forest.  The stature, health and diversity of trees make it the best example of its kind in our mountain range, according to professional foresters.

Hiking through these woods makes it possible to fully appreciate the beauty of the forest landscape that once encircled the entire Lake Arrowhead area.  This site is now the last example of that original natural setting.

Members of the Urban Conservation Corps construct a switchback segment of the Arrowhead Ridge 1.8-mile nature trail

Restoring Arrowhead Ridge

In an unusual turn of events in April 2011, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust was invited to purchase 80 acres of some of the last remaining open space in Lake Arrowhead, California following a bank foreclosure of the property. The land has been the object of an ongoing controversy for twenty years ever since the unpopular trade to developers by the United States Forest Service in 1988.


The site located the central area of Lake Arrowhead, California and is recognized to be the most outstanding example of a mixed coniferous forest found in the San Bernardino Mountains.  The stature, health and diversity of trees make it a classic southern Sierran native forest.

The property occupies the tallest ridge in the area apart from Strawberry Peak located on the "Rim" on California State Highway 18, site of the United States Forest Service Fire Lookout.

As a key link in the Grass Valley Creek wildlife corridor and prime habitat for the rare southern rubber boa, California spotted owl and the San Bernardino flying squirrel; it is one of the most significant and scenic parts of the forest. 


For two generations, children from the Alpine Camp and Conference Center and local residents from Lake Arrowhead and the neighboring mountain communities enjoyed hiking in this scenic forest.  There was a deep sense of loss when this wonderful opportunity was taken away from public hands.

Following acquisition of the site, in late April of 2011, Phase I of restoration began with the SBMLT working steadily to clean up the unsightly debris left at the site, upgrade erosion control, remove brush and dead trees,  and begin construction on a trail for visitors to experience hiking through this scenic treasure.

Phase II began in January 2012 with the addition of a  licensed landscape architect to turn the SBMLT vision of giving Arrowhead Ridge back to the community and the public at large into a reality.  This vision includes restoring the site by creating a public recreation and wildland nature park to enrich and restore the human spirit.

The most logical choice for the holder of such an outstanding treasure, and ensure the SBMLT vision would become a reality, was the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District in the San Bernardino Mountains.

SBMLT uses that fund to rescue land. It does not, however, retain or manage property; rather it sells eligible land to the United State Forest Service or finds an appropriate buyer.  Because this property is not contiguous to the San Bernardino National Forest, it could not be sold to the Forest Service.