Trail Clearing at St. Barnabas Tomorrow, July 21 at 8 am

We’re having one more trail work day before a little break. We need to clear the St. Barnabas Trail using weed whackers and brush hogs. We’ll plan to start at 8 am and finish before 10. We have six, powered weed-eating machines. We’ll need some raking done too.

Meet in the St. Barnabas parking lot around 8 (although you can come anytime afterward and leave when you wish). That’s tomorrow, Thursday, July 21.


This is what you’ve all been waiting for! The annual Spring Hill Trailhead cleanup with Boy Scout Troop 97!

To avoid the heat, we’ll start at 6 pm. It usually takes an hour or two. Bring weed whackers and rakes, although we’ll have a number of them, as well as two, walk-behind string trimmers. This is a fun event and an opportunity to see the Boy Scouts show off their work ethic.

Come to help or come to harass.

Trail Challenge Hunt #5

To begin your search for the fifth trail treasure, start at the trailhead that is at the one mile marker of the highway named after a forest supervisor who died fighting the Bear Springs Fire. Travel along the main trail. After crossing a newly build causeway you will see your first glance a basaltic andesite outcropping that looks like a prow of a ship. Find the formation that is remnants of the Sand Flat Cone. This was one  of the first of the Mount Shasta flows, which occurred around 600,000 years ago.

Here are the rules of the hunt. Each time you locate a treasure, send us a photo or description of the treasure along with your contact information to: Then, your name will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. In addition, the first person to locate each new treasure will receive their choice of a prize, and their name will be placed into the grand prize drawing.  For example, if you find 5 treasures your name will be added five times to the grand prize drawing.

Giant Work Project on Sisson’s Trail Last Weekend

Last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Trail Center crew from the Bay Area worked with our local volunteers to greatly improve the upper portion of Sisson’s Trail near McBride Springs. A short reroute was created to avoid a ditch, brushing and trail widening was accomplished, and professional-grade water bars were created in some areas where erosion problems demanded them. Everyone worked their tails off. Many thanks to this group of visitors, as well as our local volunteers, some of whom assisted Glenn Harvey with food, drink, and dishes at the KOA campground all weekend.

Trail Challenge Treasure Hunt #4

To begin your search for the fourth trail treasure, you will start your search in a park named after a building in a fairy tale. Find the trail that is named for an artificial channel conveying water. Continue along the trail looking a historical artifact. The structure that was used to help mine gold is the trail treasure. A map to help you is below.

Here are the rules of the hunt. Each time you locate a treasure, send us a photo or description of the treasure along with your contact information to: Then, your name will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. In addition, the first person to locate each new treasure will receive their choice of a prize, and their name will be placed into the grand prize drawing.  For example, if you find 5 treasures your name will be added five times to the grand prize drawing.

New Interpretive Ranger Position and Educational Programs from the Forest Service


If you haven’t met me yet, or heard about this, there is a new position on the SMMU! It is for a seasonal interpretive ranger, who will be in charge of developing various educational programs about our forest, monitoring Panther Meadows, coordinating the Trailhead Host program, planning a National Public Lands Day event, etc.

So far this season, I have mainly focused on outreach to let the community know to expect to see programs, and hopefully get an audience for them, meanwhile working to get those programs actually developed. By July 2nd, I will have an entire program on Panther Meadows, Geology, and hopefully the Legends and Lore of the area as well. As time permits, hopefully by the end of July, I will also have a program on Forest Health Management. I attached the advertising flyer for these programs, which you might have seen up around town and the forest, as well as on social media!

I attached the program schedule here as well. I’ve only put up the one for July as of now, because it’s a new position, and I might find that the times or locations should change. For next month, I will be giving programs at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm every Saturday, and 11am and 3pm every Sunday. The daytime ones will rotate between Panther Meadows, McCloud Falls, and Castle Lake, and the evening program will go between Fowlers and Castle Crags State Park (they have an amphitheater). Eventually, the idea is to have each location have it’s own topic- Panther Meadows: the meadows, McCloud Falls: Forest Health Management, Castle Lake: Geology, Castle Crags and Fowlers: Legends and Lore. However, for the beginning of July, McCloud Falls will also have the geology talk, and the first weekend, Fowlers might have geology as well. Each of the programs will be around 30-40 minutes.

If anyone is interested in learning some more about the forest you work on, come on out to a program this summer, and pass it on to your friends too! If you have any recommendations on other ways to get the news out to the community, any ideas for a National Public Lands Day event topic, or any other input, feel free to reach out! And last but not least, thanks to all the folks that have helped me out with developing this new position so far this year. I look forward to working with all of you throughout the season!

Haley WilkenInterpretive Park Ranger Forest Service Shasta-Trinity National ForestShasta McCloud Management Unitp: 530-926-9653haley.wilken@usda.gov204 West Alma Street
Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 
Caring for the land and serving people

Three Volunteer Work Opportunities this Weekend

Thursday evening, 17 trail work volunteers from the Bay Area (known as Trail Center) will be arriving in MS to assist in constructing part of Gateway II. Friday, we’ll be working on “Sisson’s Trail,” which connects McBride Springs Campground to the first segment of Gateway I. A number of locals have put significant time into this trail, which is likely to be the only “hikers-only” trail in the new system. Part of the trail has to be rerouted in a drainage area, some brush removed, water bars constructed, all to US Forest Service standards. At least one USFS employee will be on site to guide our work.

Saturday, we’re likely to continue work on the same trail, then we move on Sunday morning to a nearby site on the already-constructed CZ-5 to armor the trail where it passes through a drainage.

This is a chance to have our local trail volunteers meet and work side by side with these folks who are donating their entire weekend to help us build trail. Yes, it will be hot, but much of this trail is shaded or partially shaded. As is usual, you can come for as long as you want, or just come to say hello. Lunch will be served for volunteers around noon by Glenn Harvey.

I will be parked about a hundred yards up Everitt Memorial Hwy from McBride Campground with the tool trailer by about 8:30 on Friday and Saturday mornings; you can’t miss me unless you want to (which I would understand). We have all the tools and hard hats. If it gets too hot, we’ll quit and go jump in the lake.

Attached is a photo of the trail. Hope to see you.

Poison Oak Caper on Cabin Creek Trail tomorrow morning at 8:30

Believe it or not, I have a half dozen deranged volunteers who’ve agreed to help clean the trail and remove poison oak on the Cabin Creek Trail tomorrow morning, Friday, June 17, at 8:30. Here are the rules:

  1. Meet at the Park and Ride at the junction of I-5 and Hwy 89 at 8:30 am. We’ll try to leave together by 8:45. We’ll drive to the Cabin Creek Trailhead in McCloud, open the locked gate, and drive to the bottom of the trail. Easy, huh?
  2. Weather predictions are for scattered showers and about 63 degrees. If we don’t go, we’ll get no rain. If we go, we’re guaranteed to get some rain, so best to go.
  3. Wear boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirt. I have gloves and protective glasses, but if you have your own favorites, bring ‘em.
  4. Glenn and I have all the tools and hard hats. Bring water and a snack or lunch…and eat your vegetables…and look both ways before you cross the street…
  5. If you detest poison oak, you can stay at the end of a long rake and fling the cut pieces off the trail, go for a hike, or just stand there and jeer at us for being so stupid. There may be other entertaining things to do as well, like watch us scratch ourselves.
  6. Bring a change of clothes. If you end up rolling in the poison oak (like Tim and Glenn and I plan to do) then you should remove your garments before climbing back in your car (this will avoid marital discord later).
  7. Recommended cleanup for the urushiol oil in poison ivy includes Tecnu soap, rubbing alcohol, and Dawn dishwashing soap. I toss my clothes right into the washing machine and haven’t had a problem.
  8. I plan to work to about noon or 1. You can leave anytime you want; this isn’t a prison crew.

The photo shows the prep for tomorrow.

This is gonna be fun!

Trail Work Opportunities June 24, 25, and 26

If you’ve been eager for trail work, but the chance to frolic around in the poison oak on Cabin Creek doesn’t light your candle, we have other options.

A group of dedicated trail work volunteers called Trail Center are coming from the Bay Area to help us with Gateway II construction. Between 15 and 20 people will arrive on Thursday evening, June 23rd, to set up camp at the KOA. They will work on trails all day Friday, Saturday, and half of Sunday. To support this effort, MSTA needs the following:

  1. You can do trail work alongside the visiting group between 9 and 3 on Friday or Saturday. We’ll announce where to meet and we’ll provide lunch. You can work any amount of time you wish and leave at your leisure. It will be fun to have a large group of locals and visitors contributing to our signature trail project.
  2. Glenn Harvey will be cooking breakfast for the visitors all three mornings. He needs help with that on Friday and Sunday mornings at 6:30 am—yes, you heard me correctly, 6:30 am. But if you want to come at 7 or 7:30, we’ll hug you and say thanks. Everyone needs a hug.
  3. We need help setting up lunch at the worksite on Friday and Saturday—likely at noon.

If any of these options sound like a thumbs up for you, contact me or Glenn Harvey via email or phone.

Glenn  Harvey: 530-925-9287

John Harch: 530-859-2454

More info to come as the dates near.

MSTA Trail Challenge Treasure Hunt #3

To begin your search for the third trail treasure, you will need to find the trail that circumnavigates a manmade body of water. When you reach the river delta walk the plank over untroubled waters. You are standing on the treasure. Here’s a map to help you:

Also, if you haven’t completed Treasure Hunts #1 and/or #2, you have up until the entire Trail Challenge is over to find and turn in those treasures.