Billion Dollar Bushwhack

The State of California is about to spend one billion US dollars whacking out a long hiking trail in the upper half of the State. Some of that is for removing abandoned rail lines. It will be a shorter version of the Appalachian Trail, methinks. Lots of qualifying summits along the way.


Elliott, K6EL


Sounds fantastic but should really be known as “The Great Marijuana Trail” given it traverses the epicenter of that once illegal but now troubled legal pot growing business.


My only thought: Where does a state with a multi-billion budget shortfall get the money for this? Don’t get me wrong, nothing against a new trail in general - but is this the best economy to undertake this task. Hoping for the best!


Our ever expanding tax base?



Government debt is different to householder debt. Don’t let anyone con you into believing otherwise.

One of the things governments are best at is infrastructure development. We have a walking track that runs along the ridges if the mountains on the Eastern seaboard of VK. It cost a lot to develop and few walk more than a section. But it’s a great walk and unfortunately beyond me now. If it were upgraded into a jeep track for part of its length it would be more accessible

One of the most delinquent actions of our Governments have been abandoning carefully crafted infrastructure plans and part built projects. Melbourne would have been a far more livable city if they had all gone ahead. My state paid out $1B to not finish a $2B project.

It’s only partly my money so why worry?


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Hi Ron @VK3AFW

Not wishing to get into the merits nor demerits of government spending, discretionary or infrastructure, this proposed trail traverses some of the most inaccessible, under populated parts of the western USA not by design but my geography. It’s a grand idea but maybe the Pacific Coast Trail is good enough for the time being and new investment at this point of limited value.

Unlike many US states, California is a heavily debtor state which is in addition to any federal debt we all, as citizens and residents carry. Conventional wisdom seems to suggest exceeding 100% of GDP to be a bad thing. We sailed past that milestone long ago in CA……

I can’t comment on VK economic policy nor viability nor economic sustainability but the Golden State ain’t quite the economic miracle it was 40 years ago.


It’s a rail-to-trail recovery. See Great Redwood Trail - Wikipedia. So if they make it a bikeable trail, it could, imo, be quite popular.

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I remember hiking 3 days along the “Lost Coast” in that exact area.

The name wasn’t romanticized but reality ., no body lives there and it’s hugely difficult to get into.


An excellent idea; see the draft master plan here:

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Thanks for sharing and looking at the nice glossy I realize this is not the kind of trail I was thinking. As guy pointed out it’s a rails to trail effort and does pass through some of the populated areas between SF and Redding.

Nice part of the world.

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I drove through that area once. Sonoma was great. Pot country, not so good. Quite intimidating really.

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(falsely) attributed to U.S. congressman Everett Dirksen: “A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you’re talking real money”

Sonoma is fun place to visit and a frequent weekend destination for my wife and I when we lived in San Francisco.

The area slightly north was visited extensively by RL Stevenson. We even have a state park in his honor. Robert Louis Stevenson SP

Mind you, CA most famous Scotsman has to be John Muir….the boy from Dunbar that ended up in CA by accident and not design having fallen seriously ill on his way to South America.


Reading into the details it sounds like it will be quite a few years before there is agreement between all the jurisdictions to pull this off. Cities, Counties, Indigenous Tribes, Ranchers, Farmers, all have a stake in the approval process. Per advocates and potential users (hikers, bicyclists, equestrians)
, it is predicted that, like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, it will be a boon to tourism in the region. A bit early I suspect to be concerned over Federal/State/County expenditures.


wow, looks like quite a trail, been a pipe-dream for a long time! Searched but can not find the word, “billion,” in any case, seems can be read about here and elsewhere:

Great Redwood Trail | The Great Redwood Trail Agency

  • fred kt5x
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