WORK ON GATEWAY I REROUTE HAS BEGUN!

Brushing out the .7-mile section of Gateway I Trail that is being rerouted to avoid a steep segment has now started. On Thursday, Nov. 21 and Monday, Nov. 25, volunteers hiked in carrying chainsaws, loppers, pole saws, and safety gear. Andrew Pelkofer and Jenna Kane of Trail Labs Co directed the effort.

It was rough going in the dense brush of the gulley and hillside, but we didn’t care. We ripped and slashed, creating brush piles for burning. And miraculously, no injuries occurred!

Thanks for the hard work from Patty Guthrie, Davis Bowden, Neil Jacobs, Justin Schmidt, David Tucker, Brian Sindt and Brian Crane (who came from Redding representing the McConnell Foundation), Steve Russell, Becky Cooper and Steve Clark (USFS), Gary German, Carol Winston, John Schuyler, Barbara Paulson, and Todd Whitney (new to our trail crew). This volunteer effort is important not only because it advances a trail project without breaking the budget, but it sets the framework for future construction of the Gateway II Trail System (46 new miles), some of which will be built by volunteers.

Join us next time. We had fun, and got exercise on two beautiful days!

Trail Crew Repairs City Park Raised Walkway

After

Recently, Alan Neviolini from City Parks contacted MSTA Board Director Glenn Harvey with a support request.  One of the very old raised walkways near the headwaters spring had become dangerous, and Alan asked that our trail crew help repair it to be usable for the rest of the season.  So, we did!  One part that was funny is that there is so much use in the area that visitors wanted to use the walkway while Glenn’s crew were working on it!  The original walkway was built on logs placed directly in the water, and over time they have dissolved – literally.  Thanks to Mike Rodriguez for the opportunity to help make this part of the park safe to use again, and thanks to Rotary.

Before

 

John Harch and his “crazy old men”

If you missed it, below is an article from the Mount Shasta Herald newspaper by Tim Hold and published on December 5, 2018.

John Harch, inset, and a photo of Paul Schwartz cutting up a tree that fell on a Mt. Shasta area trail

A volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, they give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion.

The next time you’re out hiking in our region, maybe around Lake Siskiyou or up on the slopes of Mount Shasta, you might want to say a quiet thank you to John Harch and his crew of “crazy old men.” They’re the ones who give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion. They’re the volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, led by Harch, 62, a retired general surgeon.

He’s a man whose intense energy is leavened by a generous dollop of humor. “He’s got a magnetic personality,” adds trail volunteer Glenn Harvey, who’s 64. “He’s really good at getting people to come out and do all that hard work.”
Harch is also good at getting other organizations to come out and help with the trail work. At the Mount Shasta City Park in the spring of 2017 Harch and his “crazy old men” were joined by 20 volunteers from Wholesale Solar to spread chips on a trail. Harch and his Trail Association volunteers work with a local organization called Clean And Safe Mount Shasta to remove trash from abandoned transient camps and other litter dump sites in the region.

Last spring in Dunsmuir Harch led an effort to fix a portion of the river trail leading to the city park. Erosion had narrowed two portions of a trail carved out of a steep slope above the river, making it potentially dangerous for hikers. Harch’s crew, joined by several Dunsmuir residents, widened the trail at both locations and built rock steps at the steepest part, where it wound past the roots of a large tree.

Longtime trail crew member Mark Telegin, 70, takes pride in the work done that day, in what he calls “a beautiful blending of rock, roots and dirt.”

Volunteers like Telegin take their trail work seriously, spending a lot of time and thought in the placement of rocks for water diversions and steps so they’ll be there for years to come. Telegin himself has taken classes on trail maintenance by the Pacific Crest Trail Association in Ashland. He’s read manuals on the subject and gotten tips from park rangers at Castle Crags State Park, where he recently helped build a bridge over a small creek.

Telegin admits to being something of a trail fix fanatic, someone who can’t take a leisurely hike without at least picking up some litter or clearing some brush. He’s been a volunteer with the Trail Association since he retired as a railroad engineer eight years ago.

For big jobs, like the building of a new, 45-mile addition to the Gateway Trail on the lower slopes of Mount Shasta, the Trail Association uses contractors who come in with heavy equipment to carve out and clear hiking paths. But after that the volunteer crews are there year after year to make sure the trail stays clear, safe, and enjoyable to hike.
Looking to the future, Harch says, “I just want to remind folks that these ‘crazy old guys’ aren’t going to last forever, so if anyone is interested in joining our crew I encourage them to get in touch with me.” His email address is john@harchms.com.

The McConnell Foundation boosts trail building effort

Below is the text of an exciting news release from the McConnell Foundation!

Trailhead Directional Sign

June 8, 2017 — The McConnell Foundation recently awarded $420,000 to the Mount Shasta Trail Association to help develop a multi-use trail system between the city of Mount Shasta and Mount Shasta Ski Park on Forest Service lands.

“The Foundation believes that multi-use trail systems greatly enhance communities, providing both economic and health benefits,” said Bob Blankenship, The McConnell Foundation’s chairman of the board.

The project — known as Gateway Phase Two — is expected to launch in 2018 with construction planned over four years, and includes developing a 38.5-mile network of professionally designed and sustainable non-motorized, multi-use trails on Shasta-Trinity National Forest lands.

The project expands the existing Gateway Trail Network and provides new links to key attractions and scenic access points that include The Mount Shasta Ski Park, McBride Springs Campground, and Snowman’s Hill Recreation Area on Highway 89. The trails will be constructed primarily within the Forest Service’s McBride Plantation and designed to protect sensitive environmental and cultural areas.

“We are blessed to live in a community where outdoor recreation plays such a pivotal role in quality of life, health, and local business,” said Andrew Braugh, president of BikeShasta.org. “We are also fortunate that the Shasta-Trinity National Forest recognizes the importance of well-planned access to recreation on federal lands. The Forest Service deserves real credit for engaging our community and providing the leadership needed to make this happen.”

Where feasible existing user-created trails will be used, improving them to Forest Service standards; while other user-created trails will be decommissioned to protect sensitive areas.

“The Shasta McCloud Management Unit strives to provide recreation opportunities and experiences to capture the diversity of recreation use that occurs within this area,” said Becky Cooper, recreation officer for the Shasta McCloud Management Unit, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. “The partnerships that have been established throughout this planning effort have become essential with providing sustainable non-motorized trail opportunities to meet recreation enthusiasts’ needs and connect those recreation benefits to the local communities. The collaboration taking place to make this campaign a reality has been a long time coming and it’s exciting to see it approaching fruition over the next few years.”

This effort builds on a larger, regional collaboration called the 100 Miles of Trail Campaign launched in 2013 by the Mount Shasta Trail Association and BikeShasta.org. The 100 Miles of Trail Campaign aims to transform south Siskiyou County into a world-class cycling destination with non-motorized trail opportunities for all skill levels and user groups. Currently, the Mt. Shasta Trail Association is partnering with the Forest Service to complete the environmental analysis, which is needed for planning purposes prior to actual construction of the trails.

“John Muir would be proud to see the members of the Mount Shasta community — the Forest Service, BikeShasta, Siskiyou Land Trust, Mt. Shasta Rec and Parks Department and others — meld together to support the many trail projects providing exceptional outdoor recreation,” said Barry Price, president of the Mount Shasta Trail Association. “McConnell Foundation, an early member of this community, comes through big time here. We are grateful.”

The community can support this project by contributing to the 100 Miles of Trail Campaign through the Shasta Regional Community Foundation at: http://www.shastarcf.org/funds/100-miles-of-trails-association-special-project-fund.

Sisson Meadow Cleanup

On Monday April 3rd, a group of Trail Association volunteers cleaned up the upper end of Sisson Meadow by the library.  The winter storms had resulted in lots of broken tree limbs and other debris that the volunteers piled for future burning.  The paved walkways were also cleaned of leaves, debris and encroaching brush and vines were cut back.  Enjoy!

Shastice Bike Park — Time to Celebrate!

shastice-ribbon-cutting
Braugh daughters, Drew Braugh, Paula Braugh, Glenn Harvey, Barry Price, John Schuyler, Mark Telegin, Neil Jacobs, Jon Wilton, Joe Wirth, John Harch

The Mount Shasta Trail Association and BikeShasta are pleased to announce major progress in the development of the Shastice Bike Park – a grouping of bike flow trails and features to help young bicyclists develop and enjoy mountain biking.  To celebrate the progress in building the bike park, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday October 22, 2016.

The bike park is located on land owned and managed by the Mt. Shasta Recreation and Parks District at Shastice Park.  The Parks District, Trail Association (MSTA), and BikeShasta entered an agreement to guide the development of the bike park in 2014.  Since then, development of the bike park has been generously supported by funds and labor provided by many volunteers, Mountain Wheelers, Mt. Shasta Ski Park, MSTA, BikeShasta, and three grants administered by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation: Patricia L. Kimball Endowment Fund, Owens Healthcare Community Fund, and the McConnell Fund.  Some conceptual design work and oversight was provided by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

The initial rationale and need for the bike park came out of the development of the Gateway Trail system on national forest lands adjoining the city.  The building of the Gateway trails revealed that many illegal biking jumps and features were being built on the forest.  The thinking was to provide many of the same type of features in a safe and sustainable environment at Shastice Park.  Since then, the bike park has become a stand-alone recreation attraction, primarily targeting young cyclists to help them build skills and experience the enjoyment and challenges of biking trails.  It is complemented by its location next to the Mt. Shasta Skatepark.

The bike park currently provides two riding areas:  flow trails and a skills track.  The flow trails are gravity trails with challenges provided by banked turns, jumps, and bumps.  The goal is to develop a rhythm and minimize the need for braking or pedaling.  The skill features track is for the youngest riders and consists of a circular course containing ramps made of steel and wood.

While excited about this major step forward in the bike park, the MSTA and BikeShasta will continue to work on maintaining, improving and expanding the overall project.

New Railings on River Trail Bridge at Castle Crags State Park

Root Creek Railings 053

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 Association members stepped forward, applying their carpentry skills, and worked with park personnel to get the job done.  The results is a beautiful wood entrance to the suspension bridge over the rushing river waters.  The shady River Trail is located in that portion of the state park east of the Sacramento River and can be access from the Riverside Picnic Area and Campground.  Below are links to the park brochure and the Trail Association’s description of this trail.  Enjoy!

Brochure

River Trail