As the most popular long-distance trail in the country, it’s easy to see why an 800+ mile stretch of a dusty old route was lost and forgotten. But now that two canyons have been bridged by new bridges, the 600-mile Lost Sierra Trail is on its way back with 15 small towns along the way.

The “New 600-Mile Lost Sierra Trail Will Connect 15 Forgotten Small Towns near Illinois” is a new trail that will connect 15 forgotten small towns in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trail will be 600 miles long and will take hikers through some of the most remote areas of California.

New 600-Mile Lost Sierra Trail Will Connect 15 Forgotten Small Towns

People have learned the significance of being able to escape sedentary lockdown life and go explore the great outdoors after almost two years of living in the midst of a worldwide epidemic. And, if you’re searching for a vacation spot, California is usually a good choice, with generally pleasant temps all year and a diverse range of terrain types.

The Connected Communities Project intends to provide outdoor enthusiasts with a new 600-mile network of multi-use trails in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada, where the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains meet the Cascades range.


The project’s long-term objective is to create and maintain a world-class, multi-use trail system that links 15 Northern Sierra mountain towns, led by the nonprofit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) in collaboration with the US Forest Service and several community partners.

The ‘Lost Sierra Route,’ as it is known, would restore and extend ancient mining and logging lanes, as well as postal delivery routes, that were utilized during the California Gold Rush. This planned trans-Sierra Nevada path will be appropriate for all dirt-tail applications, with terrain similar to the legendary Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and John Muir Trail (JMT).

Not only will the joint enterprise provide superb mountain hiking, cycling, motorbiking, horseback riding, fishing, and wildlife viewing possibilities for local and traveling outdoor explorers, but it will also assist to boost the local economy of these disadvantaged villages.

Since the decline of its mining and logging sectors in recent decades, this area has faced economic difficulty, which has been exacerbated by wildfires and employment losses caused by the epidemic.

Volunteers, workers, trails, forests, mountains, Sierras, Quincy, California Near Quincy, California, volunteers are constructing a new route. (Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship/Patrick Cavender/Flickr)

The Lost Sierra Route is expected to bring additional tourists to the neighboring towns, enabling them to profit from the $887 billion outdoor recreation sector in the United States. The route will provide access to the Yuba and Feather Rivers’ headwaters, and mainstreet trail connections are planned in each town to help funnel in more business.

The immensity of the new route network will appeal to hardcore hikers, bikers, and others, but casual explorers may also tackle it in bits. Sierra Buttes Track Stewardship project leader Trinity Stirling told Lonely Planet, “It’s not strictly an A-Z trail.” “You have the option of hopping between various settlements and creating your own trip. A 600-mile circle might be completed by visiting each mountain town.”

The master plan will likely take another seven years to complete, but the first phase of the project is set to open in 2023, with 20 miles of one-track trails connecting Taylorsville and Quincy and affording breathtaking vistas of the mountains and Indian Valley below.

“We operated two professional crews and six youth crews this past year in 2021, which was amazing coming off of 2020 and COVID-19 when we didn’t run any young crews,” Stirling told Lonely Planet. “It was fantastic to see [young people] out on the route again and witness their connection to public property. They’re all locals, so they’re working on property in their own backyards, building trails they’ll be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives.”

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