Rev up your internal engine to support your trail – the Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT) – where you and hundreds of kindred users enhance your healthy, active lifestyle.  Local, rural communities benefit too when participants use local services.

The GSRT opened in 2015 and 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 GSRT at the Northstate Gives (  web site on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving will help us alleviate those problems and enhance user experience.  Donations through that web site will be eligible for a boost from Incentive Pool funds, making your gift even more significant.

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 create an account, 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 also eligible for the boost.
  3. Donate from you IRA rollover or transfer stock: We have a form for this.  Transfers must 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.





April is the president of the Great Shasta Rail Trail Association and McCloud Local First. When she is not volunteering her time and expertise to the McCloud community, she is probably at home cooking superb gourmet meals.

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