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!

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.

New Trailhead Kiosk Installed at Parks Creek

Today, five lunatics assembled at the Parks Creek Trailhead to install a new kiosk adjacent to the brand, new pit toilets. It was the usual group from the Mt. Shasta Trail Association, along with Forrest Coots from the US Forest Service. We tripped over one another, argued over how to dig the holes and place the posts, and generally had a great time. Shown are Glenn Harvey and John Schuyler mixing cement while Forrest Coots supervises, and Mark Telegin touching up the results. Shockingly, it all came out well, and we’ll be placing the panels and maps soon.

Library/Sisson Meadow Cleanup

This morning, a dozen community-minded folks showed up to remove the weeds and overgrown sweet pea behind the library and leading into Sisson Meadow. I miscalculated the size of the job, but we cut and slashed a huge amount of vegetation left from the wet winter.

Many thanks to Carol Simpson, Larry Dabrois, Molly Breitmun, Glenn Harvey, David Tucker, Will McCleary, Adam Henson, and Laura and Jessica (sorry, I don’t have their last names). Don’t forget our superheroes of illegal encampment eradication, Perry Sims and Todd Cory; they removed the slash screens that provided cover for several camps, and hauled out garbage left by the transients.

At the end, a somewhat crazed Molly said, “This was fun! When are we gonna come back and finish the job?”

Love your spirit and enthusiasm, Molly.

JH