While the Carr Fire rages to the west, several areas in and around Redding remain perfectly suitable for mountain biking. However, some of the city’s favorite recreation areas have been scorched by the blaze. While the trails themselves can’t burn, everything around them can. This can include anything from trees and signs to benches, tables, and culverts. It is estimated that around 100 of the 120 miles of the Bureau of Land Management’s trail are affected in some way, but this does not mean they are irrevocably damaged. In fact, some of these trails may re-open before the close of the season. However, here is a list of current closures and fire-related happenings.
- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, which drew more than 832,000 visitors last year, has closed for the summer.
- Large chunks of the Sacramento River Trail are missing; four bridges were burned on the western part of the loop. The city is asking the public to stay off this six-mile section until it is repaired.
- Power lines have fallen across trails, and burned trees can pose a danger to bikers.
- The Swasey Recreation Area has sustained significant damage; officials say it was, ”completely blackened.”
In order to re-open the trails, officials will need to inspect every mile. This is the only way to ensure safety. Officials also warn that the conditions of trails can be deceiving; bikers may see trailheads with intact kiosks and bathrooms, but dangers could lurk down the path.
Mountain bikers should continue to exercise caution as the fire slows. Autumn marks the beginning of the rainy season, and the lack of vegetation will inevitably create a lot of runoff. If the area gets a lot of rain, landslides are likely to occur.
Though much of the biking to the west of Redding has been damaged, trails to the east remain relatively untouched. The City of Redding is still ripe with mountain biking opportunities—tourists and locals should simply exercise caution to the west.