Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pioneer Musings

Today, I had the privilege of riding the entire length of the Pioneer Trail as part of a Grouse Ridge-to-Nevada-City epic. During the 4+ hours on this ride, I spent some time thinking about this trail and its importance to our community.

If you are like me, you tend to take Pioneer for granted, at least occasionally. It is such a common thoroughfare for our rides that its familiarity can diminish its specialness. Thing is, it is a very special trail and it is becoming even more exceptional.

In recent years, volunteers have joined forces with the USFS to build an entirely new singletrack portion of this trail as it descends down to Bear Valley. With recent rains, newly constructed sections have begun to settle in nicely. Eventually, the reroute will feature singletrack that will be the finest anywhere around here.

Pioneer is also the backbone of all Highway 20 corridor trails. Trails at Scott Flat, Burlington Ridge, Washington Conservation Camp, Spaulding Lake, Grouse Ridge and more are all accessible from Pioneer. We are all in debt to the Gold Country Trails Council, who made the Pioneer Trail happen over the past few decades.

Who knows what the future holds for Pioneer. After the Bear Valley re-route, I would love to see wider sections of Lower Pioneer converted to singletrack. And of course, Bill Haire dreams of Pioneer descending closer to Nevada City. One thing is for certain, the success of all such improvements will be dependent on volunteers like you.

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