The Great Redwood Trail is a 320-mile rail-to-trail project connecting communities from San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay. This world-class, multi-use trail will make use of the Northwest Pacific Railroad right-of-way, traveling through some of the wildest and most scenic landscapes in the United States; traversing old growth redwood forests, running alongside oak woodlands, and winding through the magnificent Eel River Canyon.
After Friends of the Eel River’s critical victory at the California Supreme Court in our challenge against the North Coast Railroad Authority, California Senator Mike McGuire introduced SB 1029, the NCRA Closure and Transition to Trails Act, which provided funding to dissolve the NCRA and begin planning for the Great Redwood Trail. Three years after SB 1029 was signed by the Governor, the California Legislature passed Senator McGuire’s SB 69, the Great Redwood Trail Act, which establishes the new Great Redwood Trail Agency and authorizes it to complete railbanking and to “plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain” the Trail.
For our part, FOER is excited about the opportunities to introduce new visitors to the spectacular and remote portions of the Eel River. We look forward to encouraging ecologically appropriate river-access, assisting with interpretation featuring the rich Indigenous history and diverse wildlife, and of course cleaning up the mess left by a century of irresponsible railroad development.
Visit greatredwoodtrail.org to learn more about the trail and sign up for notifications.