Defunct sections of the Northern Pacific Railroad are getting a makeover

Plans Progress for a New 300-Mile Hiking Trail Across Northern California
Erin Kunkel

travIt’s easy enough to taste your way through Northern California wine country, but a proposed bill aims to offer a more active tour of the scenic region.

Talks are in the works to turn out-of-service sections of the Northern Pacific Railroad into a 300-mile hiking trail, to be called the Great Redwood Trail, stretching from San Francisco to Humboldt Bay.

The bill, which was unanimously approved by the California State Senate this spring, would cost millions to restore areas and build the trail. However, it has garnered much support with local politicians and environmental organizations, and was included on this year’s “Hot List” of critical bills by Green California—at network including the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the California Transportation Commission.

Supporters insist that the trail would boost the economy for the region, bringing thousands of visitors and hundreds of job opportunities to rural North Coast communities.

“There is tremendous support for this trail project both in the state legislature and on the North Coast. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support thus far,” California State Senator Mike McGuire, who proposed the bill, said in a statement. “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—this is truly an incredible piece of earth.”

We can’t wait to hike it up close!