Support for the trails project came from Visit Tuolumne County, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, the Yosemite Highway 120 Chamber of Commerce, Evergreen Lodge, Rush Creek Lodge, Groveland Hotel, Hotel Charlotte, Yosemite Lakes RV Resort and Campgrounds, Yosemite Gateway Partners, the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, Yosemite Adventure Supply, Mountain Sage, Precision Optics, Groveland Pharmacy, Mar Val, The Tire Shop in Big Oak Flat, Sonora Cyclery, Yosemite Region Resorts, Yosemite Area Real Estate, Motherlode Bicycle Coalition, Echo Adventure Cooperative, Premier Valley Bank, Rabobank, Lasting Adventures, Pizza Factory, Two Guys Pizza, and Adventure Sports Journal.

For more information about Groveland Trail Heads contact Follien at dwight@grovelandtrailheads.org.

For information about grant applications, making donations, or establishing donor funds to the Sonora Area Foundation, call the foundation, (209) 533-2596, or visit the foundation website at www.sonora-area.org online.


The first phase of a 13.6-mile network of trails for beginner, intermediate and advanced

mountain bike riders outside Groveland has received $31,500 in grants from the Sonora Area Foundation, the philanthropy’s executive said this week.

Two grants of $1,500 and $30,000 were sent from the foundation to Groveland Trail Heads last week to support the first phase of construction of the mountain bike trail system in the Groveland area, Darrell Slocum of the Sonora Area Foundation said Monday.

The trail has been in the planning stages since 2013,

The estimated cost for building the first phase of trail, which will be 1.3 to 1.5 linear miles, is $26,900 to $33,800, according to Dwight Follien with Groveland Trail Heads. The estimate includes costs for flagging and clearing the trail corridor, a trail construction plan, pin flagging the final trail alignment, renting a mini-excavator, renting a plate compactor, labor costs for the mini-excavator operator and trail construction oversight. Depending on soil moisture conditions, a mobile water tank may be needed.

Long-term, Follien says, he and his group hope to have the entire 13.6-mile-long mountain bike trails system complete by summer 2022. Estimated costs of building and signing the entire 13.6 route are probably $1.2 to $1.5 million, Follien said Monday.

“We’re doing this to help Groveland businesses and young people in Groveland,” Follien said Monday in a phone interview. “We’re going to work with youth groups so they understand how and why trails are so important in rural, forested, mountain communities like Groveland.”

Groveland Trail Heads is a mountain biking club, not to be confused with Tuolumne County Trailhead and Tuolumne County Trailheads, a radio show and informal walking and hiking group based in Sonora.

A 31-page draft Groveland Conceptual Trails Plan includes a map that was updated in October 2016 that shows multiple trails east of Big Shaft Creek Road, north of Highway 120, and close to the east end of Ferretti Road.

According to Tyler Summersett, a senior transportation planner and trails coordinator for the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, people with Groveland Trail Heads have been working with the Forest Service, International Mountain Biking Association and other organizations to get this trail network planned and approved.

“All the new trails for this first phase will be mountain bike optimized and some trails will be mountain bike only,” Follien said. “Hikers, trail runners and equestrians are not excluded from all of the new mountain bike trails but mountain bikes will have the right of way.”

He said five miles of multi-use trails already exist in the area.

“We will be clearing, rerouting some sections and maintaining these five miles of multi-use trails along with building the new mountain bike trails,” he said.

Summersett says that after years of planning, Groveland Trail Heads has approval from the Groveland Ranger District, Stanislaus National Forest for a mountain bicycling destination trail system called the Ferretti Non Motorized Trail System.

The project was approved in October 2018. The project is located on a 500-acre parcel in the Groveland Ranger District.

According to the Forest Service and the Groveland Trail Heads, working with user groups and clubs like the Groveland Trail Heads allows the Forest Service to increase the number of recreational trails in the district and to delegate trail maintenance to club volunteers.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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