Trail Challenge and Annual Meeting News

The Mount Shasta Trail Association has postponed the annual meeting until further notice. In order to complete the 2019 Trail Challenge event and maintain social distancing, we decided to draw the special prize winner today. We would like to congratulate Katy Ostrowski!  The special prize this year is a $150 gift certificate for the Fifth Season.

The Mount Shasta Trail Association would still like to celebrate your accomplishment at our annual meeting. We will announce the date of the meeting in a few weeks.

If you are interested in participating in the 2020 Trail Challenge, the new passport will be available at the Siskiyou Science Festival in downtown Mount Shasta on May 16th. The passports will be distributed at MSTA orienteering booth.

Hope to see you out on the trails!

GATEWAY AND LOLLIPOP TRAIL CLOSURES

The USFS has asked us to post a notice about temporary closures of the Lollipop Trail and the first section of the Gateway Trail due to logging in the area. The closure will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and possibly extend to Feb. 17, 2020.

Also, please do not remove the orange flagging in the area. Mt. Shasta Trail Association volunteers have spent many hours flagging trails so that the loggers don’t obliterate them.

For further information and maps, please refer to the Shasta Trinity National Forest Facebook page or the Mt. Shasta Trail Association Facebook page.

START GETTING EXCITED!

Most of the Gateway II Trail Expansion has been reflagged, so that the trail construction crews can locate exactly the routes through the forest. This morning, a crew of three worked in the plantation area just north and east of the Gateway Trailhead, placing orange tape on trees and dense brush. Sometimes we were crashing through manzanita 8 ft. high. We hope to begin trail construction this spring. Get your bikes and shoes ready.

John Schuyler is shown gently placing a tape on one of his favorite trees.

Mike Hupp smiles because he placed two heavy rocks in John Harch’s backpack before starting the hike.

Trail Association Raises Nearly $23,000 on Giving Tuesday

Mt. Shasta Trail Association board members Debbie Derby and John Harch picked up a check for $22,652.73 from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation on December 18, 2019, representing the final tally for the Giving Tuesday fundraiser. Sincere thanks to so many of you who donated.

We will now focus on: 

  1. Getting construction started on the Gateway II Trail– early spring?
  2. Moving forward with the trail to Mossbrae Falls
  3. Completing the City Park to Downtown Trail

No Need to Get Lost in the Lake Siskiyou Campground Any Longer

Recently, signage was completed to guide hikers, runners, and mountain bikers through the section of the Lake Siskiyou Trail that runs through the campground. Previously, it was easy to get confused and lost in that area, especially for out-of-towners. Now, a combination of brown signs with text and arrows, along with small, green signs with hiker icons and arrows create a clear path for travelers. The “Beach Loop” segment is particularly scenic and pretty.

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.

Eroding trail in Dunsmuir fixed again

Thanks to Tim Holt, Mike Feil, and Sean Feil for repairing a short segment of the trail between Tauhindauli Park and the Botanical Gardens in Dunsmuir. The trail runs along a rather steep slope that is subject to erosion when it rains, especially at the base of a large fir tree. We fixed it last year, but it has suffered more damage because of the wet year we had. Photos show the angled trail just below the tree’s roots, the placement of some boulders, followed by gravel to recreate a flat, smooth path. Let’s hope we get a few years out of this repair .

Safe Crossing Constructed on Quail Hill Trail

After receiving a gracious OK from the landowner (George Kay) to create a safe crossing over a spillway on Quail Hill, MSTA volunteers placed lumber and ropes today. A second small walkway was placed uphill at another crossing. Shown are the workers (one nut in the creek) and our first, happy (and safer) hiker.