Great Shasta Rail Trail Association

The Great Shasta Rail Trail will link the towns of McCloud and Burney and nearby recreation areas along an 80 mile trail that will feature local heritage, scenic landscapes, and stimulate the economic and social vitality of the region. Forty miles of packed cinder trail are now open to the public for non-motorized recreation.

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Address: P O Box 221
McCloud, CA 96057
County: Siskiyou
Phone Number: 530-261-0884
Reve up your internal engine to support a local trail where you and hundreds of kindred users enhance your healthy, active lifestyle. Local, rural communities benefit too when participants use local services.

Walkers, hikers, bicyclists, equestrians are seen on the Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT) in warm months. Winter snow covers the trail for cross country skiers and snowshoers

Opened in 2015, there remains a lot of work to be done. Some find trail access locations difficult to locate and those access points lack marked parking areas and other common trailhead features. Contributions to the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association (GSRTA) will help us alleviate those problems and enhance user experience. Funds raised through the Giving Tuesday campaign will enable the purchase and installation of signs and continuation of trailhead design and development.

WAYS TO GIVE (and get a boost!)
1. Participate in the event on the day: Log onto on Tuesday, November 28th between 6 am and 8 pm and follow the easy donation directions
2. Schedule a gift in advance: Log onto beginning November 14th and click on "login". You will be asked to build a profile, then you can schedule your donation. Your credit card will not be charged until the day of the event - Tuesday, November 28th. All donations made in this manner are eligible for the boost.
3. Donate from you IRA rollover or transfer stock: We have a form for this. Transfers mst be initiated by Tuesday, November 21st to be eligible for incentive dollars. If you would like a form, please shoot us an email:

The GSRT offers year-round opportunities for non-motorized recreation, inviting residents and visitors to appreciate the region's natural, scenic, cultural, and historic resources. This promotes healthy lifestyles and stimulates local economies in the McCloud and Burney areas. Eighty miles of trail will connect the towns to nearby recreation facilities including the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park and the McCloud River Recreation area.

This year, the GSRTA will focus on making the trail easier to find and more comfortable to use. We expect the necessary environmental studies will be completed by spring, allowing the volunteer "dirt team" to proceed with the long-planned installation of signs that will identify the trail and permitted usage, warn trail users of motorized crossings, and identify private property adjacent to the trail. We plan to work with CalTrans and Shasta and Siskiyou counties to identify appropriate intersections for the installation of highway directional signs that will guide recreational enthusiasts to trail access points.

The trail, whose development began in 2005, was established by a coalition of five non-profit organizations. It was made possible when the McCloud Railway filed papers to close part of its operations (2005). Beginning in 2009 the coalition raised funds and did the work necessary to purchase the property (2015) and open 40 miles of trail to the public for non-motorized recreational use.

The work of developing the trail was handed from the informal coalition of non-profits to the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association (GSRTA), a non-profit formed to own and manage the trail (2013). That group (still all volunteer) continues to focus on trail development by raising funds, writing plans (trail concept, infrastructure development, and sign), developing local relationships/partnerships, and recruiting volunteers and leading their efforts. The organization's web site provides an excellent resource for more information about the trail - maps, directions for accessing the trail, railroad history, and the Trail Concept Plan are all available.

The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Program will assist GSRTA and the Mt. Shasta Trail Association in developing a concept plan for a McCloud to Mt. Shasta extension of the GSRT should the railroad property become available for this purpose. A feasibility study for the trail extension is underway and should be available for public review in the spring.

Ultimately, our goal is a first-class 120-mile trail that connects the Burney/McArthur area to the McCloud/Mt. Shasta area, providing year-round recreation opportunities and promoting economic growth.

2016 and 2017 Highlights

Began work (in partnership with the Mt. Shasta Trail Association) on a 'feasibility study" for a possible 23-mile extension of the GSRT from McCloud to Mt. Shasta, should the railroad property become available for sale.

Awarded the contract to prepare the environmental analysis necessary before the restoration of the two bridges - Lake Britton ("Stand by Me" bridge) and the Highway 89 overpass. The next step will be applying for grant funds to restore those bridges for safe pedestrian and equestrian traffic.

Purchased trail signs and sign installation equipment: Stop, Yield, permitted use, pedestrian crossing signs plus nuts, bolts, and posts (funded through a grant from the Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee). These signs will be installed in the spring of 2018.

Designed and fabricated bollards for installation at five locations to replace barriers installed to prevent motor vehicle incursions on to private lands. (Funded in part by a grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation, Siskiyou County fund). The bollards will be installed in the spring of 2018.

Added new members to our all-volunteer Board of Directors which manages the trail.

A team of 13 volunteers cleared culverts and brushed portions of the trail, logging more than 3,000 hours and 500 vehicle miles donated over the last two years.

The California Conservation Corps Siskiyou Crew cleared encroaching brush from the lower half of the Hambone Line (financed by a grant from the Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee)

Completed field archeological surveys of all road crossings, existing trail barriers and critical drainage ditches for future sign installation and maintenance work.

Received and reviewed final reports from Schlumberger Consulting Engineers regarding safety and condition inspections of major trail infrastructure (bridges and culverts). These reports were used to prepare a trail infrastructure maintenance and improvement plan and to provide cost estimates when we apply for grant applications to rehabilitate the structures.

Began planning for trailheads that will be located at Burney, Pilgrim Creek Road, and Harris Spring Road. The construction of the Burney trailhead sign will be supported by a grant from the Burney Chamber of Commerce. Initial planning activities for the Burney trailhead were funded by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation, Burney fund.

Received a grant from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Doppelt Fund - $10,000 to prepare the trail infrastructure and maintenance plan.

Continued work on surveying the trail to inventory and chart the location and condition of trail infrastructure - culverts, bridges, and roads GPS'd and marked in the field and on maps and charts. We're 99% complete, but still finding culverts buried in the brush. The February 2017 storm event added to this work - we identified areas of damage, inventoried newly needed repairs, and charted upgrades needed to prevent future damage.

Received two additional grants for trail maintenance with the California Conservation Corps (Forest Service Resource Advisory Committees funded) for the Upper Hambone Line and Burney to Lake Britton section.

Manned booths at public events in Burney, McCloud, and Mount Shasta to showcase the trail and sell trail- merchandise. This part of our ongoing friend-raising and fundraising efforts.

Repaired and opened for non-motorized use the Mud Creek and Moosehead Creek bridges, opening more trail.

Communicated trail news with more than 500 subscribers on MailChimp and on the GSRT Facebook and web pages.

In partnership with McCloud Chamber of Commerce, presented the 5th and 6th annual Bike-toberfest fundraising event where the public enjoyed a variety of trail rides and a downtown festival.

Thank you for your support of the GSRTA - together we make good things happen on the trail!

"Our involvement as donors to the GSRT project is our way of supporting an initiative that we see as a "multiplier" in terms of what it does for the broader community. The project is big enough that it will serve as a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts once it is completed - boosting tourism and the economic activity that comes with that, and also ties to historical legacy of our town given the use of the old railway. The GSRT ultimately provides just one more compelling reason for people to visit McCloud and Burney, but should also provide a foundation for future entrepreneurial projects that tie to the overall project."

Jeff & Cindy Pawlow
Owners - The Eagle's Rest Family Hideaway, McCloud

I'm a big supporter of the GSRT because friends and family enjoy peaceful and challenging bike rides on two topographically different trail sections. It's important that railroad history is brought to life with track remnants. Trail use is year-round and could be bicycled in winter at lower elevations close to Burney.

Bill Campbell
GSRTA Board Member, McArthur resident