After years in the making, the Sierra Buttes Trial Stewardship has finished the acclaimed Mills Peak trail in the Lakes Basin area. Since its inception in 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been pioneering new trails that has put Plumas County on the map as a mountain biking destination.
The Mills Peak trail was one of the first trails the stewardship created that impacted the Plumas County systems. Now the 9 mile muti-use single track that takes the user to the top of the peak, a 3000-foot climb, is an established must-see in the county’s trail systems.
Though the trail has essentially been usable for years, there were bits of the trail that entailed the use of logging roads, which is not only hard on a bike, but also unsightly. The stewardship just finished a 1.7-mile single track that bypasses those roads and creates a serene and moderately challenging trail.
The Stewardship was created in 2003 and has been very successful in acquiring grants, partnerships, and fundraising to enable the creation of new trails. Their very successful Trail Daze has garnered a pool a volunteers who come from all over, though many are local, to cut mazanita and build trails.
The Mills Peak trail’s hard ground created a challenge for those volunteers, even snapping the steal arm off “Old Wobbly,” the trusty trail dozer that had tackled over 800 miles of trail before its accident. The trail’s completion is something to be celebrated both for the Stewardship and for the community.
“The process of fundraising, designing, constructing, and maintaining Mills Peak Trail has been an educational workshop for us,” said Stewardship Executive Director Greg Williams. “Having gone through the process, we now want to share our experience and knowledge…in hopes we can inspire others to help revive the mountain way of living through recreation.”
The inspiration has come to the community. Members of the Graeagle and Eastern Plumas County area are already noticing a change in the visitor demographic.
Graeagle Real Estate agent Leah West reported an increase in second home buyers who came up to the area to bike. Many of them are younger people and some are even world acclaimed bikers.
“Mills Peak trail is proof that a motivated and organized group of folks who want to do something good for the future of their community can persevere,” said Kurt Gensheimer, a stewardship crew member. “No matter how deep or challenging the digging gets.”
The Stewardship is currently working on more trails including one on Mount Hough in Quincy. They also put on three biking events in the area to help promote tourism and trail awareness.