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.
If you missed it, below is an article from the Mount Shasta Herald newspaper by Tim Hold and published on December 5, 2018.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is the text of an exciting news release from the McConnell Foundation!
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.”
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!
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.
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!
A new chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has recently formed in our area. The Mount Shasta Mountain Bike Association — also calling themselves BikeShasta.org — is a group of mountain bike enthusiasts that will be a key partner to the Trail Association as we strive to build additional multi-use trails in our area. At our upcoming members meeting on Thursday March 6th, we will share more information on the trail alliance being formed that includes MSTA and Bikeshasta, to achieve the goal of 100 new miles of trail over the next decade or so. We are already we are working with them on getting a bike park developed within the bounds of Shastice Park.
For more information on this non-profit and how to be a member, check out their website at http://bikeshasta.org/.
The Trail Association, using a grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation, has contracted with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to describe trail opportunities in the Mount Shasta area. Recently, a draft plan has been produced that outlines 80+ miles of opportunities. Of course, actual trail development will require environmental analyses, grant applications, and easements or permits to cross lands held by a variety of owners and agencies. But, as Joe Wirth said as he stepped down as MSTA president, we need to “dream the impossible dream.”
Below is the July draft of the plan. If you have any comments, they can be posted to our website or sent to skyler -at- cot.net. We hope to finalize the plan this fall.
There’s no cost, and you’ll even get a free lunch. (And who doesn’t love a free lunch?)
Presentation on the economic benefits of trails (Friday evening)
Classroom workshop on essential trail building elements (Saturday morning)
Field instruction and hands-on trail building workshop (Saturday afternoon)
Friday November 4 @ 7pm at the Gallery in the Black Bear Building (upstairs)
Join us for a presentation by IMBA crew on the economic benefits of recreational trails in small towns and an update on the construction of the Gateway Trail.
Saturday November 5 @ 9am: meet at 701 South Mount Shasta Blvd. (CalTrout office)
IMBA’s Trail Building School teaches IMBA’s philosophies and trains local volunteers and land managers on how to build and maintain sustainable trails. The school involves a classroom session in the morning and a hands-on workshop in the afternoon. Elements covered:
Introduction to the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew
Trail building theory
Essential elements of sustainable trials
Designing the trail
Rerouting and reclaiming trails
Advanced trail construction techniques
The workshop will finish around 4 p.m.
Who Should Attend this Trail Building Workshop?
Any trail user (bike, pedestrian, equestrian, etc.)
People interested in or tasked with trail design, building and maintenance, such as land managers and city planners
Community service: those who oversee a community service program, those who need to complete a community service project
Anyone who would like to understand the elements for trail sustainability
High school mountain biking teams and local scout troops
Cycling teams, urban planners, parks and recreation majors, etc.
Lunch and Tools Included!
The Mount Shasta Trail Association will provide all tools necessary for the hands-on trail building workshop and also provide lunch for all participants. Please bring appropriate work clothes, shoes, rain gear, gloves, etc.
For More Information: Contact Andrew Braugh, 530-440-5921 or email@example.com
Summer is finally here – Are you ready to hit the trails?
It’s time to replace our winter boots, scarves, and mittens with hiking boots, hard hats and gloves! We’re ready to hit the trails and we would love for you join us! The Mount Shasta Trail Association and the Pacific Crest Trail Association invite you on a one-day trail maintenance and training session where we’ll learn about:
We’ll apply our new knowledge to the Pacific Crest Trail by repairing tread and improving the corridor. This project is great for beginner’s and for those who are ready to get warmed up for a great trail maintenance season! In other words, all skill levels are welcome!
When: Saturday, June 25 from 9:00 am to 2:00ish pm
Where: Parking area at Soda Creek Road Exit (this is where the PCT crosses I-5 just north of the Castle Crags State Park entrance). Directions will be provided upon registration.
What to Bring: Volunteers will need to bring day packs, lunch, water, and work clothes (i.e. pants, sturdy boots). Safety gear and tools will be provided.
Fitness Requirement: This project is great for everyone! Volunteers will hike 1-2 miles throughout the day on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Positions Available: 10-12
Nearby attractions: Camping and hiking in Castle Crags State Park, fishing along the Sacramento River, and gazing at beautiful Mount Shasta!
To Register: Please contact Robert Francisco at Shastamountain@gmail.com or call (916) 955-8641.
We’re looking forward to seeing you on the Pacific Crest Trail!