Rail-Trail Invites Family Adventure

Grab your kids and bicycles to take a family excursion on a tree-lined forest trail and experience life in nature’s backyard – and yet be close to community services.

Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT) is northern California’s newest rail-trail comprising the former McCloud Railway red cinder rail bed. Founded in 1896 to serve the lumber mills in McCloud, the Railway was extended to Burney in 1955. The GSRT is one of more than 1500 rail-trails that have been developed on the beds of railroads that have been shut down. Learn more at http://www.railstotrails.org.

You can ride, walk, run or take your horse on 40 miles of the 80-mile trail. The remaining miles are closed due to trail hazards created by recent winter storms and the need for major maintenance on the largest bridges. Trail managers are targeting 2019-2020 for completion of the majority of the trail.

“A fantastic new way to venture into some beautiful country,” a local fan says. “Love the easy 4.7% maximum grade,” says another trail adventurer.

On the southern portion of the trail outside Burney, tall Ponderosa Pine trees give way to wide open vistas on the eight-mile trail to Lake Britton. The Lake Britton bridge was featured in the 1986 movie “Stand by Me.” Eventually, a rehabilitated bridge will enable safe travel on the structure. Start your journey near the Burney Depot on Black Ranch Road, just off Highway 299.

The northern section near McCloud offers 32 continuous miles of recreational opportunity – Pilgrim Creek Road east to Bartle Wye, then north to Hambone or south to Forest Service road 39N05. Pilgrim Creek Road is three miles east of McCloud – turn left off highway 89 and proceed one mile.

In the McCloud area, you can enjoy spectacular views of Mount Shasta and a side trip to the nearby McCloud River recreation area – sporting three waterfalls, organized camp grounds and summer swimming areas.

Closer to Burney, you will find McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, a water sports fan’s dream. Kayaks, paddle boats and water craft are available for rent. Camping and indoor sleeping huts provide nighttime shelter. President Teddy Roosevelt once called Burney Falls’ 129-foot waterfall the “eighth wonder of the world.”

Restaurants and accommodations are available in Burney, McCloud, Mount Shasta and Bartle.

The Burney and McCloud areas offer fun weekend experiences getting in touch with nature’s quiet ambiance, grand vistas and peaceful surroundings. Mountain bike riders can sample the trail on a supported group ride during McCloud’s Bike-toberfest on September 23. The annual event offers supported rides (long and short) for road, and mountain bikes, and raises funds for the Great Shasta Rail Trail. It also offers an afternoon festival featuring beer, brats, and music and the Bug Guy for the kids in the historic downtown. A full event description along with registration details can be found at http://www.mccloudchamber.com/mccloud-events//bike-toberfest.

The trail is owned and managed by the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which accepts tax deductible donations toward the maintenance and development of the trail. You may donate online or mail your check to them at P.O. Box 221, McCloud, CA 96057.

More details about the trail and nearby recreational opportunities are available at these websites: 
http://www.greatshastarailtrail.org, http://www.fs.usda.gov/
recmain/stnf/recreation, http://www.burney-falls.com, 
http://www.mountshastatrailassociation.org/trails/mccloud.

North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.

Updated: Oct 10, 2017 @ 11:04 am