Volunteers needed for the North Fork American River Trail System

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Tahoe National Forest is looking for volunteers for the National Forest’s North Fork American River Trail System. This trail system is on the American River Ranger District and is approximately 15 miles from the Foresthill Ranger Station, with an elevation of more than 3,000 feet.

This trail system follows the North Fork of the American River (A Wild & Scenic River) from the Mumford Bar Trail to the Sailor Flat Trail. The American River trail system offers a variety of overlooks as it meanders along the river, passing through dense vegetation, old cabins and mining sites, through small meadows. The trail is open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use. No motorized use is allowed.

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The North Fork American Wild & Scenic River trail system has been in disrepair since the American River Complex Fire in 2008. In the years following the fire, many trees died and understory regrowth caused the trail system to be overgrown in many areas. The areas most affected were Mumford, Beacroft, and Sailor’s Flat trails, as well as the American River Trail that parallels the river and connects Mumford, Beacroft, and Sailor’s Flat trails. Due to limited funds and accessibility the trail system was not properly maintained.

Grant funds were acquired in 2017 and 2018 to address the trail system issues. Funding was obligated to conservation corps trail crews from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to complete majority of the work. The American River Ranger District trail staff worked with internal and external partners to help complete the work. The American River Hotshots, Region-5 Pack Stock Center of Excellence, The Backcountry Horsemen of America (Mother-Lode Unit) and Canyons LLC volunteer trail crews also contributed their efforts.

Since late May 2018, the trail system has undergone a considerable amount of work. ACE conservation crews did multiple day tours camped out in the canyon performing trail work in 2017 and 2018. The crews were able to complete trail work on the Mumford Bar Trail, The American River Trail, and The Beacroft Trail. Just under 7 miles of trail work was completed overall. The Mumford Bar and the Beacroft trails were cleared down to the river allowing access. The American River trail was worked on extensively, and is 90% open except a small, approximately a quarter mile section of blackberry to be cleared soon.

Overall, the goal for this grant funded project work, is to enhance non-motorized recreation opportunities on the American River Ranger District. The goals for 2017 and 2018 were to allow access down Mumford Bar and Beacroft trail, as well as access to the American River Trail.

Future goals:

-Allow trail access from Mumford Bar upriver to Beacroft

-Allow trail access from Beacroft upriver to Sailors Flat

-Complete corridor, drainage, and trail surface tread work on Sailor’s Flat Trail

-Promote & enhance a larger trail work volunteer base (*trail workers needed)

Recreation Opportunities:

Opportunities on the North Fork American River Trail System include:

-Wild & Scenic River access including Fishing & Rafting

-Hiking, Trail Running, and Horseback Riding

-Backcountry Camping

-Mumford Bar Historic Cabin

This project will begin early October and will continue through November. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact the American River Ranger District Trails Manager, Matt Brownlee at 530-367-2224, extension 228.