What’s the status of the Great Redwood Trail? We looked into it.


2 thoughts on “What’s the status of the Great Redwood Trail? We looked into it.

  1. I have been dreaming of riding my horse on the Eel River corridor from Ukiah to Ferndale and on to Arcata since 1980. The Trail is an ambitious, beautiful vision.

  2. Eric Sunswheat
    NOVEMBER 23, 2020
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    State Senator Mike McGuire commented previously on the Great Redwood Trail, as reported November 11, 2020 by the Mendocino Voice website, that seemingly contradicts Page 7 of agencies Report to the Legislature 2020 (California).

    McGuire appears to be set to seek federal removal of the rail tracks before a management plan is created for the Great Redwood Trail, while the Report to the Legislature 2020, leaves room for the possibility to retain gravel ballast in place (and thus potentially retain train track), for reduced trail project cost.

    If the supposition is that federal and other cost share funding, requires removal of train tracks for ‘rails to trails’ project funding, then as part of the project management plan prior to rail removal implementation, there should be effort to amend the legal grant writing and regulatory framework funding statutes.

    There needs to be an allowance to recognize and permit adaptable rail bikes, which pedal roll on train track and are able to be walked or carried by hand over most terrain, and are particularly suited to the Great Redwood Trail from start to finish, as the trail conditions currently exist or may persist absent mudflow and steep crevice ravines.
    Eric Sunswheat 11/23/2020

    -> By Lana Cohen, November 11, 2020
    “I don’t want anyone to think we’re gonna have a trail completed in two to three years,” notes McGuire.
    “We need to do this project right, not fast,” he says.

    The master plan will answer questions such as what the trail should be built from, which sections should be built first, whether it should be just for people on foot or for bikers and horseback riders as well, and more.

    There are certainly many questions to answer one of which will be workshopped in community forums beginning in 2021.

    Additionally, before the state can begin building, they need to get permission from the Federal Government to remove the tracks and transition the railroad to a trail.

    “The Federal Government has approved the transition from rail to trail all across the U.S., we anticipate they will do the same here,” said McGuire, who expects the states formal application to make the switch to be submitted before 2021…

    Once the final master plan has been written and engineers and rail-trail experts have been consulted, the building phase may begin.

    -> Page 7 Report to the Legislature 2020
    If the Great Redwood Trail project moves forward and the railroad corridor is converted to a trail, wetland mitigation and hazardous waste remediation will be required.

    The level of effort and therefore, cost, varies greatly depending on the chosen project design and site-specific characteristics not yet identified through environmental studies….

    The remediation estimate assumed that all ballast (gravel in railbed) would be required to be removed and cleaned off-site and that only 50 percent of the track would be easily accessible from the road, with a cost estimate of $3.9 billion to $4 billion for full remediation of the entire corridor.

    If the trail project does not move forward, or if the ballast does not require removal, this liability cost estimate will be reduced. (See Appendix F)
    [Note Appendix F – Not yet released to public as of 11/22/2020]

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