Monday, July 23, 2012

Wetherall Trail Impressions

Recently, I had the privilege of hiking the Orene Wetherall Trail. Thanks to the Bear Yuba Land Trust, this trail is now a complete loop which begins off the Cascade Canal on Banner Mountain. The trail meanders down into the beautiful Woodpecker Preserve, which is protected open space managed by the Land Trust.

As someone who has volunteered to build and maintain many local trails, I am struck with the challenge successfully met by constructing this trail. Like many areas of Banner Mountain, the terrain is highly irregular and quite steep. As with the Hirschman’s Trail, historical mining activity can make planning trails on local lands quite complex. The resulting Wetherall trail route is thus very twisty and narrow as it winds its way through the preserve. The Land Trust trails program did a great job creating a trail that is fun to hike and bike while not too steep for either activities. Plus, trail users get to experience first hand the varied wildlife and plants featured in the preserve.

The Cascade Canal is a very popular destinations for trail users who seek out its beautiful vistas, forest shade and pretty canal water. The Land Trust has expanded this wonderful destination for the community by providing connectivity to the Wetheall loop, which unlike the canal trail offers a bit of climbing and descending. The Land Trust plans even more trails in this general area, so stay tuned for details!

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