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

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

New MSTA Website

Our site has a new look!

If you’re a frequent visitor to the MSTA website, you may notice some things have changed today. Besides a new look and feel, we are revamping pages and updating our content.

Today’s update includes changes to:

Look forward to more updates in the near future. Check out the site and please Contact Us with any feedback or bugs you encounter.

Mount Shasta Library Cleanup – Sept. 14 at 9 AM

I’ve been avoiding this for some time, but recently forced myself to walk behind the MS Library to check out the growth of weeds, bushes, trees, etc. It looks like a jungle, and a huge fire hazard (see photos). It’s been chosen as one of the top priorities by our “crazy old men” group of MSTA workers for a cleanup.

Please consider showing up on Saturday morning, Sept. 14, at 9 am to weed whack, cut, trim, rake, and generally thrash the area behind the library, extending toward Sisson Meadow.

This will be mostly light work. We’ll need weed whackers, hedge trimmers, clippers, loppers, and lots of people to rake up the slash into piles that can be burned when the cool, moist weather arrives.

To do this right, we’re gonna need about 20 volunteers, so start beating the bushes (no pun intended) for helpers. As usual, you don’t need to commit to any amount of time. Come and go as you wish; we’ll be grateful.

Thanks,
JH

PS: If you agree to come, I’ll bring whatever refreshments/snacks you want (just contact me with requests)! When I bring donuts, no one eats them, and then I have to snarf them all.

Hiking the Sisson Callahan Trail

One of the underrated gems of the Mt Shasta region is the Sisson Callahan Trail or SCT. Originally a series of prospector trails in the mid-1800s, in 1911 the Forest Service established a permanent trail along today’s route. The full length of the SCT runs from the Lake Siskiyou area into the Trinity Divide, cresting the shoulder of Mt Eddy and dropping into Deadfall Lakes basin, eventually meeting the famous PCT.

Partially owing to its remoteness and partially due to its consistent uphill grade, the SCT is quiet. This author took a hike there today and saw exactly 0 people along 8 miles of lower trail.

The trail follows the North Fork Sacramento river for its entire length, climbing to the very headwaters on the slopes of Mt Eddy. In total the climb is over 3,000′ elevation gain (or loss, depending on your perspective!) The latter makes this particularly popular with downhill MTB riders – try Shasta Gravity Adventures for a shuttle ride to the top!

Access is challenging, out a high-clearance forest road. But if you’re up for an adventure, the SCT is waiting for you! Check out our trail guide.

MASSIVE CLEANUP IN WEED

On June 26, 2019, forty volunteers got together to clean up several areas southeast of Grocery Outlet near the truck stop on Vista Drive off I-5. The team included the Mt. Shasta Trail Association, Clean and Safe Mt. Shasta, Gear Up of Weed (organized by Kelsea Ochs), and citizens of Weed and Mt. Shasta. The City of Weed Public Works Dept. contributed a huge dump truck, a flatbed truck, and a loader with jaws.

The first two photos show some of the mess before our tenacious volunteers got started.

Then, everyone got to work.

Without the help of the Weed Public Works guys, we couldn’t have moved the massive pile of heavy stuff.

Many thanks to all who participated.