I caught up with Max Walter, a Redding Mountain Biking member, grade-school teacher and author of the best north state mountain biking book available (“North State Singletrack”), who has helped organize the work parties (between forest fires). Here’s the low-down on where the project is – and how everyone can help:
ThomG: How long is the Whiskeytown link and where does it go?
Walter: The Whiskeytown link, 5 miles in length, will pass through the recreation area and will connect Redding to wilderness areas to the west. It also will connect the east and west sides of Whiskeytown NRA with one contiguous trail, through an old growth forest on Shasta Bally. Estimated opening is 2010.
ThomG: How did you get involved in this?
Walter: It’s not about me. RMB was the group who Jim Milestone solicited based upon past adoptions of six trails in the park. RMB solely organized the two work days this summer (one more planned on Oct. 11). Some 50 volunteers worked on the first and about 26 on the last. The nine-member student SCA trail crew was hired and have been working steadily throughout the summer (excluding three weeks for fires)
ThomG: How much work needs to be done?
Walter: About 11/4 miles is now finished of the 5-mile trail. Milestone mentioned that he believed this first section is the most difficult of all because of steep terrain. He said this is only the third true hand-built trail in the park (Davis Gulch and Whiskeytown Falls Trails). All others are restored logging roads.
ThomG: How can people pitch in?
Walter: Contact me at email@example.com if desiring to be contacted for future announcements.
If you’re going
The Friends of Whiskeytown, Inc., will host its second-annual fundraiser for the Shasta-Trinity Trail on Sept. 11. There’s a full moon, so prepare to stroll the historic Camden House grounds sampling north state wines and food.
* Party starts at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 11.
* Tickets are $50 each.
* Park superintendent Jim Milestone will give tours of the Camden House all evening.
* Bid on silent auction items, including apple pies made from heritage apple trees in the Camden House orchard.
* Tickets can be purchased at: Shasta.com, 833 Mistletoe Lane, Suite A-1; Sunset Market on Eureka Way; and the Chain Gang Bike Shop, 1540 Division St.
* For a list of auction items, or more information, visit http://friendsofwhiskeytown.org/events.cfm
It’s what happens when everyone comes together and makes a difference.
Forge a trail that will allow people in Redding to walk all the way to the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area. The Shasta-Trinity Trail, a project that’s been on the books since 2000. Complete, the Shasta-Trinity Trail will be more than 100 miles long and link some of the north state’s best destinations – the Sacramento River Trail, Clear Creek, Lake Shasta, Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Lake. The trail would be open for hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. Where trails crossed off-highway vehicle areas, motorized trail users would share the system.
Nowhere is the work more evident than in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Started as an idea through the Redding Mountain Biking, several work parties have gotten users – from equestrians and mountain bikers to hikers and runners – together to swing pick-axes and rakes to make this trail a reality.
And on Sept. 11, The Friends of Whiskeytown will host an evening of wine and food to help raise money and awareness of the trail. The group has committed to raise $100,000 for construction of the trail.
The evening at the Camden House is an evening of art, music, wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction at the historic Camden House within Whiskeytown NRA – with all benefits going to the Shasta-Trinity Trail and future hirings of Student Conservation Association (the nonprofit offers conservation internships and summer trail crew opportunities to more than 3,000 people each year) trail crew. Tickets are $50 and available at http://friendsofwhiskeytown.org/events.cfm, Shasta.com, Sunset Market, and the Chain Gang in Redding.
Former north state resident Thom Gabrukiewicz now lives in the Great Plains of South Dakota, but he still remembers a thing or two about the outdoors in Northern California. He’s the author of “Best Hikes With Dogs, Bay Area and Beyond” (Mountaineers Books, mountaineersbooks.org) and has tasted bugs while fishing just to get a sense of what fish may or may not find delicious. He blogs about life (his) at thomg.blogspot.com.