Category Archives: Great Shasta Rail Trail

McCloud Bike-toberfest scheduled for September 24th

ride start

The 5th annual McCloud Bike-toberfest will be Saturday, September 24th. Offering supported rides for both mountain and road bicycles, event organizers predict that the 5th will be the best yet. The rides are designed to give participants a good taste of the historic town and surrounding Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

“The format – rides in the morning, downtown festival and cyclo-cross in the afternoon – remains the same, “event organizer Claudette Silvera explained. “We’ve added a kids’ zone this year and are inviting bicycle-related vendors to set up booths. Cyclo-cross races (four levels) will challenge participants and thrill spectators.”

The McCloud Dam Road Bike Ride, a 30 mile (2-3 hrs.) ride is rated moderate to difficult. The hilly ride takes you through meadows, aspens, and the return has a spectacular view of Mt Shasta. McCloud Scenic Road Bike Short Ride, 12.5 miles (1-2 hrs.), rated easy to moderate follows the longer ride route, with a turnaround at Friday’s resort.

The Great Shasta Marathon Mountain Bike Ride, a 30 mile ride (4 hrs.) is rated moderate to difficult. It begins at Algoma Campsite on single track McCloud River Trail, then connects to the Great Shasta Rail Trail, returning to Main Street, McCloud. McCloud Mountain Bike Short Ride covers 12 miles (1-2 hrs.), rated easy to moderate, beginning Main Street, continuing through the Old Mill property, and onto the Great Shasta Rail Trail.

Asked what they liked about the event, last year’s participants were happy to share with quotes like: “beautiful ride, scenery, just enough climbing, and good rest stops,” “friendly people, sweet single track,” “being with other riders,” “nice people and atmosphere,” and “street faire/local food and music.”

Bicyclists are invited to go to RacePlanner.com and sign up to ride. https://www.raceplanner.com/register/index/McCloud-2016-Bike-toberfest

The McCloud Chamber of Commerce and the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association expressed gratitude to event sponsors. This year’s gold sponsor, the McCloud Hotel, and silver sponsors Black Fox Timber Management Group, Dunsmuir Brewery Works, McCloud Guest House, McCloud Outdoors and Gear Exchange, McCloud River Inn, McCloud River Mercantile Hotel, The Fifth Season, and White Mountain Café are essential parts of the event, which benefits the Great Shasta Rail Trail.

Vendor applications and more information about McCloud Bike-toberfest is available at www.mccloudchamber.com/events or by calling 530 964-3113.

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Filed under Cycling, Great Shasta Rail Trail, McCloud

Great Shasta Rail Trail Opens

The Grand Opening of the Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT) was celebrated in two ceremonies held in McCloud and Burney. The ceremonies were sponsored by the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association (GSRTA) and the Shasta Land Trust (SLA).

On Saturday, September 26, at 4:30 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Heritage Junction Museum in McCloud at the conclusion of the 2015 McCloud Bike-oberfest. April Gray, President of GSRTA, and Anne Murphy, Executive Director of SLA cut the ribbon. About 100 people attended the opening.

Cutting the ribbon in McCloud

Gray and Murphy cutting the ribbon in McCloud

Gray said, “This is a big deal. We have been working on this for six years.”

The ceremony officially opened two sections of the trail, one 13-mile section from Pilgrim Creek Road to Bartle and one 13-mile branch trail from Bartle to Hambone.

Trailhead at Pilgrim Creek Road

Trailhead at Pilgrim Creek Road

On Sunday, September 27, a second ceremony was held at the Burney Depot Trailhead opening the 11-mile section from Burney to the Lake Britton “Stand By Me” railroad trestle. After speeches, Gray presented plaques to Joe Studenicka and Laura Pauley for their work as members of Save Burney Falls, the local non-profit organization that conceived the idea of converting the rail line to a trail and eventually evolved into GSRTA.

Gray presenting plaques to Studenicka and Paulie

Gray presenting plaques to Studenicka and Pauley

Studenicka gave a talk recognizing others who had helped develop the trail and then presented April Gray with one of the golden spikes from the original opening ceremony of the McCloud Railway to Burney in 1956. Gray, Studenicka, and Pauley then cut the ribbon.

Cutting the ribbon in Burney

Cutting the ribbon in Burney

A highlight of the afternoon occurred when Studenicka led a throng of bikers, hikers, and joggers onto the trail for a half-mile jaunt up the trail and back.

Bikers and hikers on the trail

Bikers and hikers on the trail

Three sections of the trail totaling 37 miles are now open for non-motorized use, including hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Mo and his owner Linda from Shingletown lead the way

Mo with his owner Linda from Shingletown lead the way

The Shasta Land Trust, the McCloud Local First Network, the Volcanic Legacy Community Partnership, the McCloud Trail Association, and the Burney and Fall River Chambers of Commerce have been working cooperatively for five years to convert the 80 miles of railroad track of the McCloud Railroad between McCloud and Burney to a public recreation trail.

The GSRT will include a central 53-mile trail from Burney Depot to Pilgrim Creek Road, three miles east of McCloud, and two branch trails. One of the branches leads from Bartle to Hambone. The second splits off between Burney and Hwy 89 and heads toward Goose Valley.

Map of GSRT

Map of GSRT

In 2013, GSRTA was created to own the property and manage the trail. The Shasta Land Trust subsequently received a $350,000 grant from the California Transportation Commission which enabled them to buy the property from 4 Rails owned by Jeff Forbis. Shasta Land Trust will deed the property to GSRTA.

Current board members of GSRTA include Jerry Harmon and Bob Polkinghorn from Mt. Shasta; April Gray from McCloud; Tina Peluso and Bill Campbell from Fall River Valley; Pat Thompson and Dr. Henry Patterson from Burney; Elizabeth Norton from Susanville; and Ben Miles, past executive director of SLA, who now lives in Kentucky.

Polkinghorn, secretary of the Board, said, “This is really a big milestone for Burney, McCloud, Fall River Valley and the recreational system in this area. We have a big vision.”

Polinghorn addresses the crowd in McCloud

Polinghorn addresses the crowd in McCloud

Speaking to GSRT supporters who attended the ceremonies, Miles explained that while celebrating the purchase of the property and opening of a portion of the trail, there is much work ahead.

Miles speaking at Burney Depot trailhead. Pat Thompson behind to his right

Miles speaking at Burney Depot trailhead. Pat Thompson behind to his right

Signs need to be posted welcoming non-motorized trail users and closing the trail to motor vehicles. Over 50 miles of the trail remain to be opened. Some of these will require major infrastructure improvements. Six bridges and the 462-foot-long railroad trestle over Lake Britton need to be restored. The trail surface will need to be improved and maintained. Additional trailhead facilities and amenities will be added and interpretive and educational markers placed along the trail.

Stand By Me Bridge in need of restoration

Stand By Me Bridge in need of improvements

GSRTA plans to achieve this by implementing a five-year plan evolving through six phases. In order to do so a lot of funding and many volunteers will be needed.

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Filed under Burney, Fall River Mills, Great Shasta Rail Trail, Hiking, Lake Britton, McCloud