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Trails Proposed For Tuolumne County

Sonora, CA — A new 57 page plan provides a roadmap for increasing the number of walking and bicycle trails in Tuolumne County.

The final draft of the “Tuolumne County Trails: Paths to Health and Prosperity 2011” was recently approved by the Tuolumne County Transportation Council.

The plan’s development was led by Tyler Summersett, who says, “We wanted to build on some of the exciting things that are already taking place locally.” He cites the two-and-a-half mile Dragoon Gulch Trail in the City of Sonora, eight miles of trail constructed last year at New Melones Reservoir, the Sugar Pine Trail that is in development in Twain Harte and the Westside Trail in Tuolumne.

The plan provides a long term vision and is broken down into three categories; purpose-built trails, urban trails and heritage trails. Summersett says purpose-built trails typically target mountain bikers, and are popular at places like Lake Tahoe, and ski resorts during the offseason. Urban trails are designed to connect neighborhoods to schools, shopping and transit. Heritage trails help promote historic aspects of the community, and include those that run along the T.U.D. water ditch system, railways, etc.

“One of the unique things about the plan is that it’s built around volunteer efforts as well,” says Summersett. “The heritage trails program and purpose-built trails, for example, would really take advantage of local knowledge, and local volunteer efforts, to actually grab the tools and help construct the trails.”

Some projects in the plan would require a chunk of state or federal grant dollars. These include a 2.7 mile trail connecting downtown Sonora to Columbia, a 6.1 mile trail from Jamestown to Columbia (in the vicinity of Jamestown Road, Shaws Flat Road, Springfield Road and Parrotts Ferry Road), a 3.3 mile trail planned from Jamestown to Sonora (utilizing Highway 49, 108, Sierra Railroad or Woods Creek), and a 1.9 mile trail along Ferretti Road in Groveland. These are just a handful of the many projects in the long term plan, which could be constructed as funding becomes available.

Summersett says increasing the number of trails would help improve the overall health and recreational opportunities of the community.

To view the trails plan in its entirety, click here.