Currently, about half of the planned 80-mile Great Shasta Rail Trail is complete. However, the approximately 43 miles of completed and accessible trail is quite enough for most hikers and dog walkers! This rail-trail will eventually connect the towns of Burney and McCloud in California, and will feature scenic nature views, connections with culture and local heritage, and boost the verve and economy of the local communities. Right now, you can hike the completed parts of the trail in the company of your pooch, as long as they are on a leash.
To access the trail from the town of McCloud, take Broadway Avenue to Highway 89 heading east. Drive for about three miles and turn left at Pilgrim Creek Road, and continue for about a mile until you get to an off-road parking area and the trail. No signs indicate where the trailhead starts, so pay attention to your mileage. From this point, the trail runs parallel to Highway 89 and runs for about thirteen miles to Bartle Wye. From Bartle Wye, and just past the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Highway 89), the trail diverges into two trails. The left (north) branch continues for about thirteen miles to Hambone in a northeast direction and away from Highway 89, while the right (south) branch heads south of Bartle Wye for about six miles to Bartle Gap Road, and will eventually continue all the way to Burney.
On the opposite end of the trail and disconnected from the
McCloud side of the trail due to bridge repair, the Burney trailhead is east of the town near the
intersection of Black Ranch Road and Highway 299. The trailhead parking is just
off Black Ranch Road. From here the trail runs north for about eleven miles, and
at one-point parallels the Pacific Crest Trail for a short distance before
getting to the banks of Lake Britton.
The completed parts of the trail are mainly comprised of a well-packed cinder base from the trail’s origin as a rail-track, making the trail great for hiking and riding. Cars are not allowed along the trail, but some sections are open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding and bicycling. You are advised to respect the local environment and other trail users by cleaning up after yourself and your pooch.
The Great Shasta Rail Trail is a great hike offering great views of Mount Shasta, Lassen, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. Along the trail, you will see beautiful trees and walk over a bridge at a woofderful creek about two miles into the trail from the McCloud side.
Ignite your sense of adventure at the Great Shasta Rail Trail and explore with your furry bestie!
Choose the right time of day and season to hike since the trail is exposed to the elements, especially the hot sun.