The following was published in the February 18, 2015 edition of the Mt. Shasta Herald newspaper as a guest opinion.

The spring-like temperatures and sunshine last Saturday afternoon provided my wife and me with the perfect opportunity for a walk on the Lake Siskiyou Trail.

Apparently others felt the same urge, since we met up with families, dog walkers, bicyclists, runners, hand-holding couples and a lady with a cane, who impressed us both with her warm smile and cheerful greeting.

This experience reminded us that the Lake Siskiyou Trail is truly a community resource that has been created by a collaboration amongst community organizations, volunteers and Siskiyou County government.

As a result I felt inspired to share the information about its history, where the progress stands today, what remains to be done and our plans for the future.

The original idea for the Lake Siskiyou Trail came from Tom Hesseldenz, Mt. Shasta’s resident trail visionary.  He presented his idea to the relatively new-born Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA) in the early 1990’s and got their agreement to proceed.

Over the next several years Tom worked with MSTA and the County to obtain grants to plan the trail and finally got the plan approved by Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors in the late 1990’s.  County Supervisor, Lavada Erickson, a major supporter from the beginning, was very helpful.

The initial trail work started about fourteen years ago and was led by the MSTA with strong support from Mt. Shasta Rotary and Mountain Runners.

Ironically, this initial work with much fanfare actually started in the campground area, which today is one of the unfinished portions of the trail

When my wife and I first came to Mt. Shasta, our initial volunteer work with MSTA was with Tom H. and others to establish the trail on the north shore of the lake and along Cold Creek on what is now the approach to the bridge.

After MSTA completed the initial trail work and the scope of the work and costs became more demanding, Siskiyou County took over leadership of the project.

The County obtained grant funds and contracted with a local company, Timberworks, to construct the spectacular Wagon Creek Bridge which was completed in 2010.

The County also added seasonal bridges at the delta on the north shore, widened the trail, added railings and rock reinforcements where needed, signs, smaller permanent bridges across ravines and the much used parking areas.

And now as we all know, the seven mile long Lake Siskiyou Trail is one of the most used trails in our area.

However, important segments of the trail remain unfinished. These include the section between the chalets and the lake, the trail through the campground; and ultimately a permanent bridge just upstream from the delta to replace seasonal bridges.

The MSTA has recently obtained agreement from the chalet owner, Mount Shasta Resort, to build the half mile trail along the lakeshore between the chalets and the lake.

MSTA is presently working with the County to get the necessary approvals for the trail. Work will begin this spring and will be done by MSTA volunteers, including a local contractor, at no cost to the County.

County Supervisor, Ed Valenzuela, has been a supporter to get this done. Many thanks to Ed and the County!

Next we will turn our attention to the campground.  Frankly, the most often heard complaint is “What happened to the trail through the campground? I got lost”.

This year we are committed to finding a way to work with the campground concessionaire, Reynolds Resorts, and the County to solve this problem.  Completing this section of the trail would be a true cause for celebration.

Finally, with partner organizations such as the Active Transportation Committee we envision connection of the Siskiyou Lake Trail to the Mount Shasta Greenway Trail starting from Spring Hill going through the Mt. Shasta City Park to downtown Mt. Shasta.

We also have a long term dream of connecting the Lake Trail to the Sisson- Callahan trail on the north shore.

To learn more about the work of MSTA please attend our Annual Meeting at the Sisson Museum on Wednesday March 4th starting at 6:00. We hope to see you there and on our trails.

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Save The Date — Annual Members Meeting Wednesday March 4, 2015

February 8, 2015

The Trail Association’s board of directors will hold its annual members meeting on Wednesday March 4, 2015.   The meeting, to be held at the Sisson Museum, will provide an update of accomplishments made in 2014, plus an idea of upcoming projects and events in 2015.  Doors will open at 6:00 PM, with refreshments and beverages […]

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Whitney Falls Trail Update

November 19, 2014

If you’re not a follower of Bubba Suess’s website — Hike Mt. Shasta — you should be!  He recently posted a very informative blog on the trials and tribulations of the Whitney Falls Trail, which the Trail Association worked on last spring (link).  See the link below for his posting and be sure to sign up to […]

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Land Purchased for Greenway Project

November 14, 2014

Here’s the text of a recently issued news release that generated an article in the November 12th edition of the Herald: A consortium of partners is happy to announce the finalization of the purchase of a key piece of land along the proposed Mount Shasta Greenway. The 5-acre property, located at the end of Kingston […]

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New Kiosk Sign for Spring Hill Trail

October 29, 2014

The Trail Association is happy to announce that the Spring Hill Trail is now graced by a kiosk with an interpretive sign.  The sign features information about the trail, plus a map and a description of the geology of Spring Hill.  The background is a photograph by Mike Hupp.  This trail is a great short […]

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Support the Great Shasta Rail Trail — Bike-toberfest October 11, 2014

October 1, 2014

Here’s a chance to have some fun while supporting the rails-to-trail conveersion of the old McCloud River Railroad to the Great Shasta Rail Trail.  McCloud’s Bike-toberfest will take place on Saturday October 11th with a variety of bike rides and other events.  Click below for more information: link

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New Railings on River Trail Bridge at Castle Crags State Park

September 26, 2014

Recently a group of Trail Association volunteers, led by Mark Telegin, replaced the  wood railings on the River Trail foot bridge over the Sacramento River in Castle Crags State Park.  The old railings were in terrible shape and posed a safety hazard, in addition to not portraying the desired park image.  To remedy this situation, the Trail […]

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Mossbrae Falls Update on JPR — September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014

In case you didn’t catch it, there was a news piece on our local public radio about Mossbrae Falls.  The Trail Association is engaged with other parties, including the City of Dunsmuir and Union Pacific Railroad in trying to secure legal and safe access to this beautiful waterfall.  Here’s the link: link Mossbrae Falls courtesy […]

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Hike Clear Creek Trail — Saturday September 13, 2014

September 4, 2014

Photo by Bubba Suess   On Saturday September 13, the Mount Shasta Trail Association invites the public on a moderate 4 mile round trip hike along Mud Creek Canyon to Clear Creek on the southeast side of Mt. Shasta. There is a steady 2,100 foot elevation gain starting at 6,500 feet in an old growth […]

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Mount Shasta Greenway Update

August 29, 2014

On August 25th Joe Wirth and Greg Messer of the Trail Association presented an update on the Mount Shasta Greenway Project to the City Council.  Below is a link to the slide presentation, that contains up-to-date maps, project status, future phases, a possible transition of the oversight organization, and other information: Mount Shasta_Greenway Project_v4       […]

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