Regional hiking and biking trails — a hot topic this fall

By Carlos España

Trails Coordinator, Almanor Recreation and Park District (ARPD)

A Regional Trails Concept Plan for Almanor Basin and Westwood will soon be released by the Almanor Basin Trails Alliance.

The development of the “Lassen/Lake Almanor Basin Regional Trails System Conceptual Plan,” in the works since 2015, is a tool to guide future planning, design, fundraising, construction and maintenance. The Concept Plan describes a proposed network of trails that will connect communities within the watershed of the North Fork Feather River, located in northern Plumas County. The Plan grew out of long held dreams of a system of “trails around Lake Almanor” and a connection from Lassen Volcanic National Park on the west to the “Bizz Johnson Rail Trail” on theeast.

The plan was written by members of the Almanor Basin Trails Alliance who have a passion for outdoor recreation, community vitality, economic development, and the preservation of open space in the watershed.

The Alliance includes representatives from the Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Almanor Park and Recreation District, Almanor Ranger District, Lassen County, Lassen Land and Trails Trust, Plumas County, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Lake Almanor Watershed Group, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce, Feather River Land Trust and staff from the National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Through a cooperative effort of the volunteer staff from these organizations, a Concept Plan has been developed.

The ARPD’s Trails Committee spoke at the “State of the Lake” webinar presented by The Sierra Institute. The topic of the presentation was “The Role of Active Transportation in Growing Community Vitality.” The PowerPoint displayed some of the details of the Concept Plan and confirmed that Caltrans will be planning the paving of Chester Main Street, scheduled to begin construction in 2025. It can be viewed at www.yourARPD.org

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) will soon begin its “Connected Communities Survey”.

SBTS will issue survey booklets to poll residents in 15 communities within five northern Sierra counties for their input for a multi-county Trails Master Plan, which is being funded by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. The plan is to use our Forest Service lands as a backbone to connect Sierra-wide communities. Please look for these surveys and participate in their planning process.

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