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Hearts Will Love Heart Rate Hill

Tuesday the Rotary Club of Redding Board of Directors pledged a significant sum to advance the cause of trail use in our area: Heart Rate Hill Overlook at the new Keswick Link which joins the South Sacramento River Trail to the Rail to Trail passage to Shasta Dam will be a significant public amenity to help combat our nation’s epidemic of obesity.

In coming months, users will be provided a stationary cardiac tread mill to assess themselves against conditioned athletes whether walking, running or biking. Signs along the way will tell the viewer to take pulse, set time; results are on top with then heart rate – measured according to Bruce Protocols which evaluate cardiac health.  Dr. Richard Malotky and his medical school son Max are calibrating this climb, which will be age-adjusted and will definitely tell the user if things are not Olympic quality.

This beautiful overlook above Keswick Dam will provide the public not only a chance at self-education but will also contain picnic tables and rain/shade structures with a matchless view of the Sacramento River flowing south to the Stress Ribbon Bridge.

This small chapter is part of a much larger story conducted almost without notice from the Regional Office of the Bureau of Land Management headed by visionary Stephen Anderson.  Silent partners like Brent Owen, the McConnell Foundation, City of Redding, County of Shasta, California Conservation Corps, American Trails, Trail and Bikeways Council, private land owners, hikers, bikers and an army of others have created more than 50 miles of “fee free” trails which now connect to the Sundial Bridge.

Even this huge and mostly unheralded completed system does not tell everything, but only glimpses the exciting future just ahead.  Plans are more than paper scribbles concerning a connection to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and thence to the Trinity Alps and eventually the long-sought Valley to Ocean Trail.

In these times of diminished expectation and worried finances, a quiet mega creation has sprung from cooperative old time American “can do” initiative.  Government is the people and when they venture in collaborative endeavor together, good things can and do happen.

When America Trails moved here from Tucson a few years ago, they rightly stated that our area had more already on the ground and potential than any other place in the country.  They wanted to be here because this is Trail Capital America.  Now people are coming from all over to enjoy what is here.  Marathoners, vacationers, casual walkers, babies in strollers are using what some residents do not even know exists.  Still, the most used recreational asset in Redding is the Sacramento River Trail.  The citizens of our area can be rightfully proud and should be eternally grateful for the lovely natural surroundings which are being gathered together in long miles of access and enjoyment.

Randy Smith is a retired physician, member City of Redding Planning Commission, Cal-Tip Advisory Board, Rotary Club of Redding Stream Team.