“Under This Tree General Andres Pico Hung Two Banditos of the Flores Gang in 1857.”
There is very little embellishment on the Hangman’s Monument in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Just a simple plaque with this statement set into a small rock pedestal. It was installed by a group of equestrians in 1967, when the trail was part of a working ranch. Today, the monument is challenging to get to on foot, but an upcoming volunteer activity will drop visitors just a short walk away from this piece of Orange County history.
Conservancy staff members are converting the monument’s wide entry path into a narrower single-track trail. This will result in less impact on the surrounding habitat along the 800-foot trail, while also providing a more secluded experience for visitors. The staff will take care of the heavy rock-moving and create efficient drainage, but then volunteers will be needed to help smooth out the rough edges and replant along the trail.
Volunteers will ride in Conservancy vehicles to the site, enjoying the views through Limestone Canyon and along Loma Ridge. At the project site, the work will involve some planting, raking, mulch spreading and dirt tamping. All tools and training will be provided, and participants age 15 and older are welcome. This activity is perfect for those who want to help maintain trails in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, or for those who are willing to put in some volunteer time to check out a little part of Orange County history.
To take part in this opportunity, participants must pre-register by 4 pm the day prior to the event. Registration is free, and available here. There are a limited number of spots on the transport vehicle, so participants are encouraged to sign up quickly. To read more about Hangman’s Monument and how it was re-discovered after the 2007 Santiago Fire, click here for a Los Angeles Times article on the monument.