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News.bytes Extra, issue 475

Some BLM trails ready for spring - others still in midst of winter

With spring in the air, hikers and mountain bikers are itching to get back out to their favorite public land trails.

The BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office is advising, however,  that they will have to wait awhile before they can enjoy the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail between Susanville and Westwood.  The above average snowpack for California's mountains is definitely being felt in the northeast corner of the state.  Winter sports enthusiasts will be happy to know that good cross country skiiing and snowshoeing will be hanging on for a while, particularly at  higher elevations. (text continues below)

inset photo shows runners passing sign - photo shows snow up to bottom of sign
The trail "crossbuck" marker at Westwood Junction, elevation 5,300 feet is nearly covered with snow.  By comparison, the inset shows marathon runners at the same location last October.

snow covers an old train trestle and piles up on nearby ground
The new Devil's Corral trestle, a 70-foot-long span over the Susan River Canyon, looks beautiful in its winter coat -- and is accessible by skis and snowshoes.

Snow-covered sign urges visitors to "Share the Trail"
The BLM and Lassen National Forest, which jointly manage the trail, encourage shared winter use. The agencies encourage cooperation among users so that cross country ski tracks are protected from boot and snowshoe impacts during these excellent winter conditions.

Outdoor recreation planners advise that lower elevations of the trail will quickly lose their snowpack during warm spring days, but caution that it might take some time until the trail is dry enough to support bikes or horses without damage.  Those planning outings can call the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, (530) 257-0456, to check on conditions. Trail information is available at thie BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office website.

Elsewhere on northern California public lands, the Redding Field Office reports excellent spring conditions on miles of trails along the Sacramento River near Redding, in the Swasey Recreation Area of west Redding, at Clear Creek south of Redding and the Sacramento River Bend north of Red Bluff.  Trail information, brochures and maps are available at the BLM's Redding Field Office web site.

Photos by Stan Bales, BLM; Lisa Sedlacek, Lassen National Forest

- Jeff Fontana, public affairs officer, BLM Northern California District, 4/4/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 475
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Last updated: 04-07-2011