Mountain bike riders, we have an epic trail riding opportunity before us. The final link in a 38-mile trail loop around Keswick Reservoir is scheduled to open for public use on Saturday, June 5.
Dedication of the approximately 10-mile FB Trail along Keswick Reservoir is probably the local highlight of Saturday’s National Trails Day. Those who want to get their hands dirty will have opportunities to do so by helping with maintenance of the Pacific Crest Trail near Burney, or by helping build a new section in the Weaverville Basin trail system.
The new FB Trail runs from the Ribbon Bridge on the Sacramento River bike path to Keswick Dam Road. The trail crosses the road and then continues on the hillside east of Keswick Reservoir until it intersects with the popular Hornbeck Trail close to the Hornbeck’s two-mile marker. Going clockwise from 6 o’clock, hearty mountain bikers, hikers and runners may circle the entire reservoir by following the Sacramento Rail Trail, the Upper Water Ditch Trail, the Hornbeck and the FB Trail. The only paved road stretches are about three miles connecting the rail trail with the Upper Watch Ditch Trail (near and across Shasta Dam), and a short piece of Keswick Dam Road from the new FB trailhead, across Keswick Dam, to the Lower Sacramento Rail trailhead.
The Bureau of Land Management will cut the ribbon on the FB Trail at 10 a.m. Saturday during a celebration at the new trailhead parking lot, which is located just off Keswick Dam Road between the dam and Quartz Hill Road. Parking is limited, so consider carpooling or, better yet, use your bike or two feet to get there.
The dirt trail is complete north of Keswick Dam Road to the Hornbeck Trail, The section of FB Trail south of the road to the Ribbon Bridge is not quite finished yet and will not open on Saturday. However, that final, roughly two-mile stretch should open within a few weeks, according to Bill Kuntz, supervisor of operations/maintenance and recreation planning for the BLM’s Redding office.
Up in Burney, a number of organizations – including Shasta Land Trust, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Save Burney Falls and Healthy Shasta – are organizing a trail maintenance and cleanup day starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Tools, water and a barbecue lunch will be provided. All you need is willingness to toil (and long pants and appropriate footwear). The group will meet at Burney Falls Trailer Resort on Clark Creek Road, off Highway 89 just south of McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. Organizers need to know that you’re coming, so give them a call in advance at (530) 335-3978.
To the west, Trinity County Resource Conservation District and the U.S. Forest Service are organizing a trail-building day. They’re looking for volunteers to help with a half-mile of new trail that will be incorporated into the ever-growing Weaverville Basin trail system. Again, you’ll need long pants, work gloves, good shoes and an even better attitude. The 9 a.m. meeting place is on Weaver Bally Road, north of Weaverville. For directions and event details, contact the Resource Conservation District at (530) 623-6004.
• From trails to highways … Traffic may be slow for a few weeks on stretches of Interstate 5 between Anderson and northern Tehama County while Caltrans gets ready to build a new truck climbing lane in each direction between Deschutes and Gas Point roads. There will be lane closures from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily for about two weeks while crews shift traffic toward the shoulder. Work on the $24.7 million project, which also involves resurfacing 14 miles of highway, will continue through next spring.
• I’m a little late with this, but the weekly Shasta Growers Association farmers’ market in Anderson starts today, June 3, from 7:30 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Shasta District Fairgrounds. There was talk of moving the farmers’ market to a slightly more accessible location on North Street, but so far it’s only talk. At any rate, the market will continue every Thursday morning except for June 17 (fair week) through the summer and into early fall.
• I’m not too late with this one: The Redding Farmers’ Market will host its first “Chef at the Market” cooking demonstration of the season at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, June 5 at the market front of City Hall. One chef will provide instruction and, better yet, samples at the farmers’ market every week through August. First chef up is Katie Bullock of the new Grilla Bites in downtown.
• Congratulations to Shasta College, which won the May 14 to 21 Bike Commute Challenge. Twenty-two college employees logged 74 trips by bicycle during the period. The college also earned points for having bike racks, indoor bike parking, and showers and lockers for employees. In all, 152 individuals from 25 businesses rode 3,065 miles during the NorCal Bicycle Partnership’s eight-day challenge.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and vows to ride the entire Keswick loop this summer. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.