College offers opportunities for hiking as well as learning

The Community Trail at Feather River College starts at the bottom of the main parking lot at this distinctive kiosk. The 1-mile loop trail has interpretive signs that describe some of the historical, environmental and traditional uses of the land. Photos by Laura Beaton
Laura Beaton
Staff Writer


The Community Trail at Feather River College is a 1-mile loop trail that takes hikers through an oak woodland and a conifer forest that burned in 1946.

The trail was built in 2006 with Secure Rural Schools money. Funding of $10,000 was allocated by the Plumas County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) out of the SRS funds.

The trail is the result of a community trail-building class at Feather River College taught by Darrel Jury in fall 2006. Ken Cawley wrote the grant and led a forest thinning project in collaboration with Jury and others.

The trail is sustainably designed, using few water bars and following the contours of the land.

The trail begins in the lower corner of the college’s main parking lot and meanders up the slope roughly parallel to the paved walkway to the upper campus.

In addition to the kiosk at the base of the trail, there are five other interpretive signs that inform the hiker of various aspects of the land: its ecology, history and wildlife.


Snake Lake Trail

The kiosk is also the origin of the trail to Snake Lake. The steep grade makes for a great cardio workout, and is not for the faint of heart.

The trail climbs to the top of the ridge, which has that deceptive appearance of always being just around the corner.

When one does achieve the summit of the ridge, a trail marker points the way down a Forest Service road that hooks up with other FS roads and ultimately to the Snake Lake Spillway.

Rick Stock, Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program coordinator and instructor, said the trail may be easier to find from the Snake Lake side.

The Forest Service has maps of the area that might aid a hiker to stay on track. Winter storms and road washouts tend to displace signage, but the approximately 4-mile trail is worth the search for adventurous hikers not afraid of steep grades.

The college is partnering with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship on a trail building class on the Mount Hough trail system recently approved by the Forest Service.

And now that SRS funds have been extended for another year, Jury is contemplating applying for another grant to build more trails that will also serve as fire breaks.

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