[published 6 December 2018]
Photo courtsey of Nancy Spruance
Humboldt Trail News - December 2018
There is a vision for the Great Redwood Trail that will extend 300 miles from the San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay. It will follow the former rail transportation corridor that has been managed by the North Coast Rail Authority since 1989. The northern portion of the trail will be northwards from Cloverdale or Willits and be under the control of a yet-to-be-determined agency whose mission will primarily be rail-to-trail. The southern portion will be under the control of the existing Sonoma-Marin Area Transit District (SMART) which is developing that portion of the corridor as rail with trail. The vision became more concrete on February 8, 2018 when Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) introduced SB 1029 to the California Senate. The original text described using the existing rail
THE GREAT REDWOOD TRAIL
- First Steps Accomplished
transportation corridor as a hiking, cycling, and horseback riding trail to be called the Great Redwood Trail.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously on May 30th. The bill went on to the California Assembly, where it was reworked over the summer and passed by that body with only one dissenting vote on August 31st. Governor Brown signed and approved the bill on September 29th. The bill's official name is now “The North Coast Rail Authority Closure and Transition to Trails Act” and it outlines the next steps in the realization of the trail, which are primarily the assessment and closure of the North Coast Rail Authority. The NCRA are to cooperate with the California Transportation Commission and the Natural
Resources Agency with this transition. The process will identify the assets, debts, rights of way, and the best way to close down the NCRA. Two years have been allotted for this process, but much of this work has already been done, and with cooperation the transition to a multi-use trail could occur sooner.
What can you do now?
Stay informed - Make sure you are on our mailing list by signing up: here or on our Humboldt Trails Council (HTC) Facebook page.
Donate (see here) - HTC is actively involved with Senator McGuire’s office, as well as local governments and other trail advocate organizations, to help this vision of a trail become a reality.
Join in - Respond to HTC Calls-for-Action when we need more supporters to send emails, or to attend a county or city council meeting to encourage our leaders to prioritize trails. Join an HTC committee, or a Volunteer Trail Steward (VTS) group and help maintain your favorite trail. The more people involved in helping to maintain the trails we have, the easier it is to secure funding for the next section of trail. Participation counts and is good exercise.
The Humboldt Trails Council is working with an amazing group of individuals from local governments and nonprofits that are creating the Humboldt Bay Trail, which will become the northern anchor of the Great Redwood Trail. We have seen a lot of progress around Humboldt Bay in the last two years that took years in the planning. Our voices can connect our cities with trails sooner rather than later if we prioritize trails with our government bodies.
A Note from HTC's Outgoing Board President
It's been an honor to serve as the Humboldt Trails Council Board President for multiple years now. I've been on the board of directors for nearly 8 years, and have served as the board Secretary, Vice President, and President in my time with HTC. I'm thrilled with the work that our board and organization has done, and the capacity that we have built by actively recruiting an enthusiastic and diverse current board of directors, working with partners in the community to create our current strategic plan, and being more involved in trails advocacy. In the past few years, we've not only seen an incredible proliferation of trails in Humboldt County, but we've also seen growth in our Volunteer Trail Stewards program - one of the key ways that the Humboldt Trails Council supports development and use of local trails. The HTC is an all-volunteer organization, and I'm grateful to every Volunteer Trail Steward and board member who help keep us moving forward. Our incoming Board President is Michael Proulx. Michael has been our Board Secretary, and is active on our advocacy committee, in addition to leading the Volunteer Trail Stewards group who maintain the new Arcata segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail, and serving as the HTC representative to the Humboldt Bay Trail Fund advisory group. I'll continue to be involved as a board member, and I look forward to seeing the HTC grow and evolve with Michael at the helm.
Report on Lack’s Creek Hike
On November 11, 2018, I joined a Sierra Club hike led by Ned going to the Lacks Creek Management Area. About 1¼ hours east from Arcata we parked at an information kiosk located at a 3-way road junction (Beaver Ridge Rd, Mid-Slope Rd, and Pine Ridge Rd). The group began by hiking out Pine Ridge Road for 1.8 miles. We reached a two-way road junction that had a small parking area with a trailhead on the west side. From this vantage one could see the blue Pacific Ocean on the horizon. The trail dropped off the road through meadows and open oak woodlands. It switch-backed down the slope and sometimes threaded through mixed forest of Douglas fir and madrone. It is a lovely area.
After 2.9 miles we connected with a Forest Service Road at
a small bench. We went left on the road and climbed back up Mid-Slope Road to the saddle where our cars were parked. The trail tread was in excellent condition. The switchbacks were laid out well. The corners of the switchbacks are rounded for/by trail bikes. This is a beautiful 5-6 mile loop particularly with the autumn leaves on the trail to kick around.
Reference hike: Hiking Humboldt, Vol 2, Pages 189-190, 89a Pine Ridge hike.
GIVE TO YOURSELF THIS CHRISTMAS
Pull out your checkbook and donate to the Humboldt Trails Council. Your donations are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Donations will be used for our Volunteer Trail Stewards who maintain, clear, and help build our trails; and for our advocacy work for trails such as the Great Redwood Trail and the Humboldt Bay Trail. We work hard with other public agencies and private organizations to make these trails a reality.
Both of these “works” ensure that trails will continue to bloom in Humboldt County.
Make checks payable to Humboldt Trails Council and mail to:
Humboldt Trails Council
PO Box 7164
Eureka, CA 95502