Great Shasta Rail Trail, California's newest off-road trail for non-motorized use, hosts its first National Trails Day events. Official opening was September 2015.
Burney is the trail's southern terminus; McCloud the northern terminus.
Four boys jumped off the bridge over Lake Britton during the opening scene of the 1986 movie "Stand By Me." Well, they pretended to jump off the bridge as the fast train blew its caution whistle and the boys were trapped on the bridge - it's only a movie.
The day's events are real, however. Leaving the trail head, participants enter into an open forest environment. Vehicles a distant sound; civilization, infrequent. A shuttered biomass plant is a living example of changing power generation sources. Atop a nearby mountain are 43 wind turbines hidden from the trail by trees and additional mountains.
The Nature Walk is a scenic exploration of the trail's flora and fauna near the ground and surrounding tall trees. While never far from civilization, the visitor will feel urban life is miles away. Tour leaders are a retired forest service employee and a nature educator. Both are avid gardeners.
The bicycle ride is nearly 10 miles to the famous bridge. Except for crossing Highway 89, riders are surrounded by open forest. Tour leader is an avid trail cyclist who enjoys sharing his experiences. He is featured in the trail's website video.
Carry snacks and water. Consider all weather gear because mountain temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Redding. After the tours, see the world renown 129-foot Burney Falls at nearby McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. A day with Mother Nature!