Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
HUMBOLDT BAY – Even during its symbolic groundbreaking two weeks ago, McCullough Construction’s heavy equipment could be heard just up the path, already blazing the Humboldt Bay Trail North, which will connect Arcata with Bracut and eventually, Eureka.
At this point, the work is underway in earnest. “Things are progressing quite well,” said Dena McCullough, vice president of McCullough Construction.
Her crews have been working on two different sections of the trail, clearing it, grubbing (mowing down weeds), laying down base rock and compacting it. The work requires temporarily blocking off some trails, with “walkaround paths” recommended.
Hopefully the detours will work better on the Bay Trail than they have in the Arcata Community Forest during trail improvement work. There, irresponsible trail users trampled all over a base layer of jagged rock, damaging it and then complaining to the city that the trail wasn’t useable.
“We definitely don’t want people to use what’s half compacted,” McCullough said. “It really digs up the trail. For the most part, people have been really good.”
The trail will take a great leap forward – five of them, actually – when that number of bridges arrive and are installed with use of cranes. Those should be in place by July 1. “We’re doing a lot of coordination with the city on elevation, span and placement,” McCullough said.
She’s looking forward to fairer weather and the bridge placement to accelerate progress and get the trail done by Oct. 15.
“It will really pick up the pace in mid-June to July, when the bridges are in,” McCullough said.
Get more information on the trail at cityofarcata.org/318/Humboldt-Bay-Trail-North.
Thursday Night Trails
On this week’s KHSU 90.5 FM Thursday Night Talk, it’s all about places to put your hiking boots, with your feet in them of course. Join trail enthusiasts Bigfoot Trail founder Michael Kaufmann, Volunteer Trail Steward Rees Hughes, trail planner Emily Sinkhorn and host Kevin Hoover for talk about trail volunteering, the new Humboldt Bay Trail North, the Bigfoot Trail, Rees’s new book, Hiking Humboldt, and next month’s Trails Summit. All on TNT, 7 p.m. on KHSU.