Old Railroad Set to Become a 300-mile Hiking Trail Through California Wine Country
Seeing the best of California’s North Coast is about to get easier and better than ever.
According to SFGate, a proposed bill could transform parts of the increasingly abandoned Northwestern Pacific Railroad into a scenic hiking trail.
The 300-mile-long trail, named the Great Redwood Trail, would stretch from San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay, cutting through Eel River Canyon. Part of the railroad is still in service, however, so areas of the trail will be parallel to the tracks rather than directly on top of them, SFGate reported.
“From the San Francisco Bay, through the incredible beauty of wine country, alongside the glistening banks of the Russian and Eel Rivers, into the stunning old growth Redwood forests, and up to and around panoramic Humboldt Bay,” McGuire said in a statement. “This is truly an incredible piece of earth.”
The ambitious bill could cost up to $1 billion just to restore the canyon. (Authorities have so far set aside $4 million for studies, repairs and planning.) Nevertheless, the bill is backed by the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited and the California Transportation Commission. According to the North Coast Journal, the state senate unanimously voted in favor of the bill, which is great news for hikers and nature lovers in northern California, but it still must be approved by the governor’s office.
“There is still major work to do and we know that anything that makes a big difference is never easy. We need to resolve the significant financial debt that [North Coast Railroad Authority] has racked up over the years as our first step,” Senator McGuire, who proposed the bill, said in a statement.