In 2006, the BCRD, the operators of Galena Lodge, and other community groups such as Big Wood Backcountry Trails conceived the idea to develop a summer trail system around the lodge. The BCRD submitted a multi-use trails proposal based on a design by the International Mountain Bicycling Association to the SNRA. The SNRA pursued an environmental assessment of the proposed project with a final decision to approve a 47-mile trail system.
This summer, the BCRD and its partners are making solid progress on the construction of the new trails at Galena.
The trails are being developed with “preferred” uses in mind. All of the trails will be open to all forms of non-motorized travel, with trails optimized for mountain bike use on the east side of the highway, and equestrian optimized trails developed on the west side. Visitors will be drawn to routes that match their desired experiences, and because trails are open to all comers, its hoped that users won’t feel over-regulated.
Above, Garrick Topp with Progressive Trail Design roughs in a section of new beginner trail at Galena Lodge on the BCRD’s Sutter 300 mini-bulldozer. I happened to be filming Garrick when he was building in flat terrain. In areas with more side-slope, the establishment of a trail tread is more demanding.
Hand work is always a big part of any trail construction project, and the BCRD Trails and Grooming Staff have been leading that effort. They have also enlisted the services of a 12-person Northwest Youth Corp crew toward the completion of this tread shaping and backslope cutting work.
This summer’s construction is focused on the building of the beginner mountain biking trails portion of the Galena Summer Trails Plan. With virtually no beginner singletrack mountain biking opportunities currently available on the SNRA, these easier trails will help provide less experienced riders with a wide variety of options that area close to the lodge.
At present, just one mile of the new trail system is complete and open to traffic. You can get more information about the open Senate Meadow Loop Trail, or upload a map file of the route to your GPS unit, at the BCRD Summer TraiLink site. This short route is worth checking out, if just to get a sense of what a bike optimized trail looks and feels like. Before, or after your outing, stop into the lodge to check out their bike shop, retail store, restaurant, and full bar. The construction of the entire trail system is expected to be completed by the fall of 2016.