A New 600-Mile Recreational Trail Is Coming to California

The Lost Sierra Route will connect 15 mountain communities

Evergreen trees ahead of a mountain in the Sierra Nevada

Courtesy of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

There's a new outdoor trail coming to the Golden State, and the excitement is real. The project, known as Connected Communities, is a result of the collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service, community partners, and Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, a nonprofit organization that "builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe, Plumas, and Lassen National Forests," according to the group's website. 

The goal? To connect 15 mountain towns, not only as an opportunity to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors but also to promote economic prosperity in some of the disadvantaged communities in the area and diversify recreation. "It will create a vision for a recreation-focused lifestyle through community investment, shared stewardship, economic opportunity, and important new local jobs, all benefiting economically disadvantaged communities in California's Plumas, Sierra, Butte, and Lassen Counties," the website says. They also believe that the new route will play a vital role in environmental education and youth employment. 

The organization has already committed itself to planning, creating, and maintaining the trail, with the promise that it will "[pay] homage to the region and the historic Gold Rush-era mail delivery route."

The Lost Sierra Route will stretch more than 600 miles, connecting communities from Lassen to Truckee. The trails will be multi-use, allowing for more than just jogging or biking. According to the website, the new "Trail for Everyone" will be accessible to equestrians, mountain bikers, hunters, anglers, and of course, the local fauna.

Mountain Biker riding on Tamarack Connection Trail

Courtesy of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

The first part of the trail is set to open as early as 2023, while the rest of the trail will slowly roll out in different phases over the next seven years.

In the meantime, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is encouraging travelers to come and experience some of the mountain towns now, in order to get to know the area and contribute to their efforts. "Each mountain town has something unique to offer in terms of terrain, nature, adventure, food, camping—and all have a rich history to experience," the group says. "Through our Planning Phase, we’ve captured input from community locals on what they’d like to highlight about their town, where they want trails to be located and the outdoor experience the neighborhood topography and landscape has to offer."