Contact: Victor Lyon
Western States Trail Open Deadwood to the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River
FORESTHILL…..The Forest Service has opened a portion of the Western States Trail that was damaged in the American Fire from Deadwood Ridge Road to the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge. The trail crosses the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River (NFMFAR) over the Swinging Bridge. The American Fire started August 11, 2013 and burned all of the upper NFMFAR drainage. The bridge burned and is unsafe for use. Another smaller bridge on the WST also burned in the fire and is unsafe for use. This smaller bridge is below Last Chance, and is located between the NFMFAR and the Last Chance Townsite. The WST from the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge eastward to Last Chance Townsite will remain closed for the time being.
District Ranger Victor Lyon states "opening the trail from Deadwood to the west side of the bridge allows use of part of the Western States Trail. Once the small bridge below Last Chance is reconstructed we will look at opening up that part of the trail. The Forest Service has requested funding to reconstruct the Swinging Bridge, but to date it has not been funded." The Western States Endurance Run and Ride organizations have volunteered to reconstruct, and donate the materials for, the smaller bridge. Last fall WST volunteers contributed hundreds of hours of effort on Burn Area Emergency Repairs to the trail alongside a few Forest Service specialists. "I am incredibly impressed by the massive well-orchestrated effort that the WST volunteers have provided; they have our sincere appreciation." Ranger Lyon continues "The WST is a multiple use trail; all users should anticipate two way traffic on the open section between Deadwood and the west end of the Swinging Bridge. All users are urged to be cautious of, and considerate to, other trail users". Post fire conditions are dynamic. Trail users should be cautious of rocks and limbs on the trail. Trail maintenance is ongoing; please listen and watch for work activities.
The American Fire area, including the Western States Trail and Loop 6 (11E44) of the Sugar Pine OHV system, have been closed to the public since the start of the fire. The American Fire area opens on March 13, 2014. Loop 6 is closed under Forest Order 17-14-01 along with the rest of the OHV Trails in Foresthill.
Additional information concerning this closure is available by contacting the district office by telephone at (530) 367-2224 Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30.