News from Great Shasta Rail Trail Association
August 18, 2016 marked another milestone in the seven year story of the development of the Great Shasta Rail Trail when escrow closed on the transfer of the trail property from the Shasta Land Trust (SLT) to the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association (GSRTA).
“80 miles of property makes for a complicated real estate transaction,” said acting SLT Executive Director Debra Townsend, “but the effort was well-rewarded with the completion of SLT’s contribution toward the development of this important recreation facility.”
A California Transportation Commission $350,000 grant funded the original trail acquisition. An additional $300,000 from private donations and governmental grants to funded environmental site assessment, property title research, hazard waste clean-up, and engineering surveys.
“We’re so grateful to SLT. They stepped up to purchase the property and hold it while the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association was shaped,” said GSRTA Board Chair April Gray. “A key part of the trail formation ‘Core Team,’ SLT devoted hundreds of hours negotiating the original purchase, writing grant applications, and helping to plan the trail.”
Public access on two sections of the Great Shasta Rail Trail opened in September 2015. An eight-mile section from Burney Depot to Lake Britton’s “Stand By Me Bridge” is located at the trail’s southern terminus. The northern section, 29 miles long, begins at Esperanza, five miles east of McCloud and continues past Bartle, turning north toward Hambone.
Development of the non-motorized public trail for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing with equestrian sections will be based on a five-year “Trail Concept Plan.” Engineering studies on the trail infrastructure are complete – GSRTA volunteers will use those to develop a phased plan to repair the trail’s seven bridges and many, many culverts. Initial signs will be installed once pending environmental studies are complete.