Trail Challenge Appreciation at MSTA Annual Meeting

Congratulations go out to those that completed all of the trails included in the 2019 Trail Challenge!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association wants to celebrate these accomplishments during our annual meeting on April 2, from 6:00-8:30. The evening will begin with a social hour of appetizers and drinks. It’s a great opportunity to meet other trail enthusiasts and find out more about current and future projects.  Then, near the beginning of our meeting we will have a drawing to determine the special prize winner. The location will be announced soon.

John Harch New MSTA President

John at Castle Crags, 2019

The Mount Shasta Trail Association (MSTA) is very pleased to announce that John Harch was recently elected as the association’s new president.  John has been active on MSTA’s board of directors since 2013 – serving as its vice president for the past three years.  He was elected president at a recent board meeting, assuming the reins that Barry Price held for over three years.

A retired general surgeon, Harch brought a good mix of humor and energy to the MSTA.  John has been very successful in getting volunteers and other organizations out on the ground to cut brush, dig trail tread, build rock walls and install trail signs.  His core of hard workers has been nick-named the “crazy old men,” but under John’s leadership they’re the hardest working bunch of guys and gals you’ll ever meet.

John earned a degree in biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, before going on to medical school at UCLA.  He completed his surgical internship and residency at LA County/USC Medical Center.  Before landing in Siskiyou County, John practiced surgery in the Bay Area and southern California.  John is board certified in general surgery and critical care medicine.

Don’t be surprised to run into John on an area trail, hiking, riding his mountain bike or leading a group of volunteers working a trail.  With surgical precision, John will use his skills and passion to lead the MSTA into the future!

Forest Service News Release — Gateway Phase 2

Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project gains momentum

Contact(s): Josef Orosz, Public Affairs Specailist, 530 226-2322

MT. SHASTA, Calif. — The Shasta McCloud Management Unit of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in partnership with the Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA), has finalized and signed the Gateway Phase 2 Environmental Assessment and Decision Notice which will allow for the following:

•              Construct 44.8 miles of new multi-use, non-motorized trails and 1.7 miles of trail that would be designed and permitted to equestrians and hikers only.

•              Construct two new day-use trailheads at Ten Gallon Plantation and the south side of the Everitt Memorial Highway across from the McBride Springs Campground.

•              Develop two existing recreation facilities as day-use trailheads at the John Everitt Vista Point and the Nordic Center on the Ski Park Highway.

•              Expand the McBride Springs Campground by adding a loop for 8-12 campsites.

•              Decommission unauthorized, unsustainable, user-created trails and trail segments in the project area.

The project area encompasses over 5,000 acres joining the existing 11.4 mile Gateway trail system off the Everitt Memorial Highway and Ski Park Highway, and contributes to the community’s “100 miles of Trail” campaign that launched in 2013 by MSTA and BikeShasta.

The proposed trail expansion has been designed to address multiple non-motorized trail users – hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrian riders and incorporates consideration for trail-user objectives and desired experiences. This resulted in a “zoned” approach to the trail network that includes:

1.             Community Zone – close to town and easy to access, designed to build upon the existing Gateway network and creates more opportunities to quickly get out and enjoy the forest.

2.             Learning Zone (Discovery Center) – trailhead will be located at the Nordic Center, a short connection to the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, and mellow, rolling terrain with fantastic views all around. The Learning Zone will be ideal for those new to trails and will provide a series of loops that allow users to begin easy and add mileage if they feel up to the challenge.

3.             Big Mountain Zone – designed to provide a variety of trail experiences, but with an emphasis on mountain biking, including a portion where the “preferred-use” would be mountain biking. The Vista Point trailhead will function as a drop point in which users can descent into an assortment of routes ranging from intermediate level flow trails, to advanced downhill directionally designed trails, and connect with the Community or Learning Zones.

Over the last two years, the Forest Service has worked closely with the MSTA, who funded the NEPA analysis and completed the technical resource reports and Environmental Assessment following Forest Service guidelines. “This project was truly a community-led effort with support from all user groups, local businesses, and residents. It is an exciting time for our area with such an emphasis on recreation and tourism. This project compliments the designation of the city of Mt. Shasta as a Pacific Crest Trail Town and the larger concept of the Mount Shasta Trail Partners,” explained Shasta McCloud Management Unit District Ranger, Carolyn Napper. “This project provides the Forest Service an opportunity to work with the City of Mt. Shasta and surrounding areas to diversify the economic base of the community and promote partnerships with user groups to assist in the operation, maintenance, and developed of recreation sites and facilities.” 

With the grant funding the Mt. Shasta Trail Association received from the McConnell Foundation in 2017, trail building will begin in the spring of 2020 in the Big Mountain Zone. Construction will be a phased approach and once trail segments have been integrated into the National Forest System Trails system they will be open for public use. Both the Forest Service and the MSTA is continuing to apply for additional grant funding (Prop 68 and Recreation Trails Program) to support the construction and maintenance into the future.

“The completion of the environmental analysis and the signing of a decision for the Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project is a monumental event for the Trail Association and all of our donors and partners — especially the support we got from the local Forest Service employees,” stated Mt Shasta Trail Association board member, John Schuyler. “We see national forest lands as key to our goal of making southern Siskiyou County a destination for sustainable trail-based recreation, and this project demonstrates how we and the Forest Service can work together and accomplish common goals.”

For more information about this project visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53089. A larger image of the trail project is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/FSEPRD677468.pdf.

Hike to Rock Fence Lake — Saturday September 21, 2019

The Mount Shasta Trail Association invites the public to join them on a moderate hike to one of the jewels of our area recently added to our national forest lands: Rock Fence Lake. 

This lake is in the Scott Mountains, just east of Kangaroo Lake and is on one of the sections the Forest Service obtained earlier this year working with the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Trust for Public Lands.  We will drive about 1-1/2 miles on a good unpaved forest road (small SUV’s ok) before parking and hiking the rest of the way (about 2 miles each way) on a much rougher, but very walk-able road.  Elevation gain is a little less than 1000 ft.   

Meeting time and place is 9 AM at 111 Morgan Way in front of the Best Western Tree House in Mount Shasta.  We will pass by the Gazelle Grange no earlier than 9:40 AM and pick up any who are waiting there at that time. Bring lunch, sun protection, and water.  For information contact John Thomson at 530 926-4430.

Our Destination

John Thomson Joins MSTA Board of Directors

John maintaining trails

The Mount Shasta Trail Association is pleased to announce that John Thomson has joined its Board of Directors.

John has spent a good portion of his entire life in Mt Shasta.  As a descendant of a true 49er, he has continued a family tradition of loving the California mountains (his great grandfather was photographing them before Ansel Adams).  He learned to ski in the Old Ski Bowl, has climbed THE MOUNTAIN 4 times, and picked up his Dad’s love of exploring and navigating.

Back in 1967 John helped build a family cabin on Hill Rd.  More recently, he and his wife Eugenie have remade the cabin into their home and have been true Mt. Shasta full-timers since 2017.

John followed his passion for public transit by getting both an BS and MS in Civil Engineering at Stanford. His career was entirely spent working as a consultant to public transportation agencies, generally in project management or related roles.

His favorite activities are hiking, bike riding, skiing, snow shoeing, photography, exploring and improving his home. Before an old neck injury stopped him, he was a champion sailor.

You can find John leading a hike (or other “wander”) somewhere in our area just about every week as Scribe for the Siskiyou Wanderers.

Lynda Hardy Joins MSTA Board of Directors

Trails Challenge completed!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association is happy to announce that Lynda Hardy has joined its Board of Directors.

Lynda is a long time community leader and has lived and worked in Siskiyou County for 42 years.  Now happily retired, Lynda worked for 32 of those years teaching Elementary School in Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir. She was selected and worked as an Educational Science Consultant for the prestigious Lawrence Hall of Science based out of Berkeley, CA.

Lynda was one of the founding members of the Mountain Runners non-profit organization.  During her years volunteering for Mountain Runners, she worked as the co-director of many Fourth of July Races and Winter Triathlons.  She co-coordinated and grew the Fun Runs successfully and was active in its fundraising campaigns.

An avid skate and backcountry skier, Lynda also continues to hike and mountain bike our local trails.  Some of her other interests are sailing and painting.