Several local businesses and individuals are working to complete the Spring Hill Trail in Mount Shasta, which was recently opened for public access.

“The Mount Shasta Trail Association and the Siskiyou Land Trust negotiated a deal with Coca Cola for access to the trail,” said Joe Wirth, president of the Trail Association. “We agreed to do all the work and provide the funding, maintain the trail and provide liability insurance. Coca Cola would provide access and put up regulatory signs.”

An article in last week’s paper incorrectly credited Coca Cola for other trail work.

Though the trail has been used for decades, this is the first time there has been legal access, Wirth said.

Negotiations with Coca Cola began approximately two years ago, and physical work  on the trail began this spring.

Wirth explained that the old casual trail wound up the hillside before connecting with an old fire road. To make the trail more accessible, community volunteers rerouted the trail by clearing brush, mainly manzanita, with  chain saws, loppers, Pulaskis and small hand saws. The fire road to the top was then cleared of overgrowth.

After that work was completed, Chris Marrone came in to widen the trail and move large rocks that were obstructing the path.

Marrone, along with Souza Ready Mix, volunteered to create the circular parking area, Wirth said.
“We need to work more on the parking area near the trailhead, part of which is still overgrown with weeds,” Wirth said. “There’s also an Eagle Scout project to put some benches along the trail. They should be done next week, and there are also plans to put picnic benches up at the top of the trail.”
Work is also being done to cut through brush for the creation of a side trail off the main one, that leads to an “interesting rock formation,” Wirth added.

The one and a half mile trail features a climb of approximately 600 vertical feet, and takes just under an hour to hike, Wirth said.

To get there, drive north on Mt. Shasta Boulevard and turn right on Ski Village Drive across from the entrance to the Mount Shasta City Park. Proceed a short distance to a stop sign and drive straight ahead to the parking area at the trailhead.

A dedication ceremony will take place sometime in November when the trail is fully complete, said Wirth.

As for what will happen to the trail if Coca Cola sells the nearby water bottling plant and the Spring Hill Property, Wirth said he wasn’t sure.

“We hope that access will continue, because when that happens this will be a completed project with considerable community input,” Wirth said.

The Mount Shasta Trail Association promotes hiking in the Mount Shasta region. They build trails, advocate for more access to trails and trail protection, and work to conserve the natural beauty of our area.

The Siskiyou Land Trust is a community based non-profit organization founded in 1983 that strives to protect open space, ranch and farmlands, forest and wetlands, natural resources, scenic viewsheds and wildlife habitat in Siskiyou County.