Want to come and get your hands dirty with us? Do something for the community of Groveland and join us for our volunteer trail work days at the Pine Mountain Lake Unit 16 project site. We will provide instruction, tools, age-appropriate beverages, a few snacks, and a good ol’ time! For a detailed description of the project, please read this post.

MARCH  |  5/6  |  9:00AM-2:00PM

MARCH  |  19/20  |  9:00AM-2:00PM

APRIL  |  9/10  |  9:00AM-2:00PM

APRIL  |  23/24  |  9:00AM-2:00PM

Each day includes time for project overview/instruction and breaks. Plan for 3-4 hours of physical activity.

If you would like to attend the trail building days listed above, please fill out the contact form at the bottom of this post with your preferred dates selected and be sure to read about the physical and equipment requirements in the next paragraph. If you would like more information, feel free to fill in the contact form with your questions and we’ll be happy to answer.


Note: Directions will be emailed to volunteer contact information provided on the form below


-Volunteers must be in good physical condition and must be able to hike varying terrain and operate hand tools for up to 4 hours (with breaks)

-Volunteers must be comfortable handling rakes, shovels, axes, hoes, hand saws, and brush shears

-Volunteers are encouraged to bring water

-Volunteers must bring work gloves and close toed shoes that are suited to hiking steep, rocky, loose terrain

-Volunteers  are required to sign a waiver (available on-site)

What’s Next? New Project

After the Trail Stewardship Summit, we were full of vigor to continue what we started in our Ferretti Non-Motorized Trail System (PDF Map Here) but have just been given a yellow light due to a pending Fish and Wildlife survey.

So, we are shifting focus to a project that has been on the books since 2014. Here’s the scoop:


In 2014, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pine Mountain Lake Association for the purpose of building multi-use singletrack trails in Unit 16.

There are close to 300 acres of land in the Unit which also includes an archery and shooting range. The area is easily accessed from Ferretti Road (using the same entrance as the Pine Mountain Lake campgrounds) and offers moderate to steep terrain with rolling grass and oak hills and areas with a mix of oak and conifer.  Some ridges in the Unit offer beautiful views of the Sierra and of area ranchlands as well as of Pine Mountain Lake itself.


Phase One of the project includes the design and construction of a trail that will take users from the main kiosk to the roads at the upper elevation of the Unit. The Unit is currently advertised as a hiking and walking area but the access road to the hikable/walkable roads (also shared with vehicles) is prohibitively steep for some ability levels. Phase one will consist of the design of an access trail that will allow users of all abilities to access the upper hiking trails and roads.

Additionally, many of the roads and/or trails suffer from erosion and can be hazardous for bikers and hikers. Our overall goal is to offer many miles of sustainable recreational trails that can be used by the community and that will accommodate all ability levels.

Here is a map of the Unit with the proposed areas for trail development shaded in red. The Phase One trail can be seen as a red line on the map (PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A TRAIL DESIGN, JUST AN ILLUSTRATION OF WHERE AN ACCESS TRAIL COULD POTENTIALLY GO).


We’ve completed rough corridor flagging and will begin more detailed pin flagging and design this month and will host our first volunteer days the first weekend in December. Stay tuned for details!


For a detailed description, read this post.

We’ve recently completed flagging Phase One of the Pine Mountain Lake Unit 16 trail project.

As mentioned, GTH has agreed to build a trail that will access the upper roads of PML’s Unit 16. The trail will begin at the information kiosk for PML’s Unit 16 ‘Hiking and Walking’ area and will be accessible to bikers, hikers, runners, and walkers who would like to safely hike off-road to access the upper roads and trails in the Unit.

We would love your help in constructing this trail and in participating in the first ever volunteer trail building event hosted by the Groveland Trail Heads. This trail is only the beginning of what we hope to create in the 300+ acres available to us in this Unit. The trails we build will be open to the public and are just outside of downtown Groveland.

Current trail info kiosk and access road for the upper roads and rec areas of Pine Mountain Lake’s Unit 16.

The terrain we flagged for the Phase One trail is steep but open with some nice oak trees and rock features.

Example of the hillside where the Phase One trail will be built.
Example of the hillside where the Phase One trail will be built.


The GTH trail design team will be hard at work for the remainder of December getting the site prepped and pin flagged and ready for construction.


Groveland Trail Stewardship Summit

It’s been about a week now since Groveland hosted the IMBA/USFS Trail Stewardship Summit and, now that the photos are coming in from Bruce Dorman and Michael Barnes, it’s time to write about it!

Where to start? Maybe we should start with our goals in the creation and organization of the Summit with an overview of how and what, exactly a ‘Trail Stewardship Summit’ is. Here goes:

The Groveland Trail Stewardship Summit was the result of a Challenge Cost Share between IMBA and the United States Forest Service. Apparently, the planning for this program has been years in the making.  The ink hit paper earlier this year and, as a result, 2 US projects involving mountain bike trail development, were awarded the funds. Groveland Trail Heads was one of the two.

In our initial conversations with our IMBA Northern California Regional Director, Laurel Harkness, and with Garrett Villanueva from the United States Forest Service, the Groveland Trail Heads-along with Dusty Vaughn of the USFS Groveland Ranger District- decided not to apply the funds directly toward the building of trails. We decided instead to use the funds to host a ‘Trail Stewardship Summit’ that would focus on sustainability and collaboration as those things apply to the development of recreational trails within National Forest boundaries.  The final version of the event included an IMBA Advanced Trail Building School with a classroom day devoted to Stewardship lead by Garrett Villanueva and Dusty Vaughn of the United States Forest Service, and a USFS Chainsaw Certificaton and Safety Course hosted by the Groveland Ranger District and taught by our board member, Justin Nash.

Our goals were as follows:

  1. To educate those involved in trail development and building in the proper procedures to conscientiously plan and develop trail systems.
  2. To provide an Advanced Trail Building School to those with trail building experience in order to promote standards of ecological sustainability.
  3. To introduce regional mountain bike clubs to Groveland so that we could share our vision for a comprehensive, regional trail system outside of the most famous national park in the country for the sole purpose of improving the lives of everyone in the communities bordering the Stanislaus National Forest.
  4. To build internal momentum.
  5. To build partnerships with the USFS, IMBA, Trail Solutions, and fellow trail building volunteers.
  6.  To break ground on the Ferretti Non Motorized Trail System.

Were we successful?


We  had an overwhelming show of support from community businesses and individuals by way of donations both for event space and raffle items that we used to raise funds for trail building equipment and future events. We would like to acknowledge our donors here before we discuss results of the event:

Yosemite Cellars

John Gray, County Supervisor District 4

Aimee Teaby

Hotel Charlotte

Fork and Love at the Hotel Charlotte

The Groveland Hotel

Oler Chiropractic and Wellness

The Stone Family, Yosemite Region Resorts

Marc Fossum, Pine Mountain Lake Realty

Larry and Nina Jobe

Nick de Porcel

Mountain Sage Nursery

Robb Hirsch Photography

Mountain Sage Cafe

Serendipity Antiques

The Evergreen Lodge

Yosemite Cellars

Indigeny Reserve

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

The space for the Stewardship Summit Dinner was the barn on the Mountain Sage property, owned by Robb and Regina Hirsch and we couldn’t have found a more fitting setting.

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Photo: Michael Barnes
Photo: Michael Barnes
Photo: Michael Barnes

These community members not only show their support for our efforts by making donations, but are also demonstrating their contribution to the creation of a sustainable year-round local economy and the creation of recreation opportunities for local youth and families, trail users, and visitors. Without their support, we would have a difficult time supporting the needs of our club so that we can effectively realize our vision.

Now for the RESULTS:

We saw attendees and instructors from San Luis Opispo, Arcata, and other parts of Northern and Southern California; Texas; Idaho; and South Africa. The number one thing we heard from these people was how unique and special the community of Groveland is. So many of these people have expressed interest in returning to help build more trail and in visiting when the trails are built. Everyone saw the potential.

First and foremost, the education we received was paramount. We had one classroom day in which we were fortunate to learn about how to implement a collaborative approach to the planning and execution of trail systems in the National Forest from Garrett Villanueva, who has years of experience as a land manager who has facilitated the successful development of trail recreation in the Tahoe National Forest. Garrett is a gem in the Forest Service! He understands the need for the conscientious development of recreational trails as well as the need for the creation of partnerships between the Forest Service and local clubs and non-profit organizations such as our own. We came away from Garrett’s talk with the motivation and tools to strengthen our partnership with our local District so that we can work toward common goals.

Advanced Trail Building School location.
Advanced Trail Building School location.  Photo: Bruce Dorman.
Dusty Vaughn, Recreation Guru, Groveland Ranger District
Dusty Vaughn, Recreation Guru, Groveland Ranger District. Photo: Bruce Dorman.
Photo: Michael Barnes
Photo: Michael Barnes
Ariel Galos, Dwight Follien, and Bob Bonomo of teh Groveland Trail Heads talking shop with IMBA Regional Director Laurel Harkness and Trail Solutions Chris Leman.
Ariel Galos, Dwight Follien, and Bob Bonomo of teh Groveland Trail Heads talking shop with IMBA Regional Director Laurel Harkness and Trail Solutions Chris Leman.

The classroom portion of the IMBA Advanced Trail Building School gave us the tools we need as leaders of volunteers to begin to create trail plans that take into account standards of sustainability as set forth in IMBA’s Trail Solutions book, Trail Solutions: IMBA’s Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack. Trail Solution’s Jake Carsten lead the classroom portion of the Advanced Trail Building School and filled our heads with so much useful information in a way that was strangely simple and digestible. In the words of one Northern California trail builder “I learned more in the Advanced Trail Building School than I have in my 25 years of building trail”. Wow. That pretty much says it all.

Day 2 of the Advanced Trail Building School was a hands-on day in the field. Under the direction of Chris Leman, Jake Carsten, and Chris Orr, and the help of the attendees, we were able to break ground on the Ferretti Non Motorized Trail System and to complete a 900′ section of trail for beginners and kids. This will be the start of a beginner loop in our trail system which will eventually include over 20 miles of singletrack for all abilities.

IMBA Advanced Trail Building School Field Day attendees.
IMBA Advanced Trail Building School Field Day attendees. Photo by: Bruce Dorman.
Mid way progress shot.
Mid way progress shot.

We also learned how to design and flag trails on the ground while applying rules for preserving the sustainability of trail design by taking into account the mitigation of water. We worked with Chris Leman to familiarize ourselves with clinometers to that end.

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IMBA’s Chris Leman and Jake Carsten with Dusty Vaughn, our local USFS Recreation Guru.
IMBA's Chris Orr
IMBA’s Chris Orr

We took part in a rock armoring project to provide a little fun and challenge for kiddos and beginners.

Discussing the challenges and approach to the rock armoring segment.
Discussing the challenges and approach to the rock armoring segment.

We learned about the planning and execution of an effective signing system for trails.

Creating a signage plan.
Creating a signage plan.

During the Chainsaw Certification and Safety course, participants learned how to safely clear project corridors and mitigate potential hazards in trail building areas. The participants walked away feeling confident about working safely in the forest.

We are now invigorated and excited about our next steps. We are working to secure funding for the completion of the Ferretti Non Motorized Trail System and are excited about continuing our volunteer trail construction within the community of Pine Mountain Lake.

The crew.
The crew.

Getting stuff done Groveland Trail Heads style!

We now have 3 trail projects within our community! The Trail Plan and MOU(Memorandum of Understanding) BananaSeat worked on and completed on her own between us(Groveland Trail Heads) and the Pine Mountain Lake Association was approved by the PMLA Board of Directors! A plan for hiking, running and bicycling trails in unit 16, behind the campgrounds off Ferretti Rd in Groveland/ Pine Mountain Lake :) We’ll start with one trail at time…

Add this to our 500 acre Mountain Bike Destination project which we have already started the preliminary flagging of the trails and the Science Camp Trail, work in progress, at Camp Tuolumne Trails. It’s an amazing feeling to be part of all of this and it’s an amazing group getting this done!

Update on our Big Project…

We are finally starting the preliminary flagging of the mountain bike only trail system IMBA’s Trail Solutions designed! This is the stuff DangerBoy really enjoys as there is so much to see and appreciate in our beautiful forest. Bananaseat, Little Ring, Dilbert, Dilbert’s friend Ben and Cocomo(Big Ring’s, Bananaseat’s and Little Ring’s dog)have been out there too. Sorry we don’t have any pics yet and we’ll get some as soon as we have more help. Hands are full of GPS devices and flagging tape!

Once the preliminary flagging is done we’ll work with a Botanist to review our trail lines and make sure we aren’t anywhere near sensitive plant species. The Botanist will then send a report to the Forest Service’s Botanist to approve the report. The Forest Service’s Botanist is tied up with the Rim Fire Reforestation project and that is completely understandable this is why we’ll(GTH)will provide a qualified Botanist. We’re all hoping that we’ll be breaking ground in the Spring of 2016. Cross your fingers…

Update on Camp Tuolumne Trails- Science Camp Trail

After the Rim Fire I contacted Camp Tuolumne Trails to see if there was anything the Groveland Trail Heads could do to help with the aftermath. After talking with Jerry Baker(owner) we went out to an area that got hit pretty bad from the fire. The fire opened up a seasonal creek that was completely overgrown before the fire.

The plan is to build a trail that goes along the creek and crosses at an incredible rock formation. This will be a trail for the science camps they have as well as a really scenic trail for walking and exploring. Now the awesome news… Dwight Follien finally broke ground and built some actual trail today!  Here are some pics of the cool rocky part of the creek and of the trail work, enjoy!

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More Trails!!!!

Working on an initial vision and MOU for building multi-use (bike/hike/run) trails in Pine Mountain Lake for approval by the BOD.
How many of you Grovelanders would like hiking/running/biking trails in Unit 16 (behind the campgrounds)?
These trails would be accessible to all ability levels with nice flow and low to medium grade and just a tiny bit wider than true ‘singletrack’.
The existing roads in the Unit 16 ‘hiking’ area are prohibitively steep so we’re working to add mileage, increase accessibility, and move recreation away from vehicle roads.

Groveland- Mountain Bike Destination; Our presentation to the community, Feb. 21 2015

The event was well-attended by local part and full-timers, over 100 people! And the response was positive. Board members presenting: Dwight Follien(DangerBoy), Ariel Galos(Bananaseat), Ryan Byrnes(KickStand), Justin Nash(Heartbreaker), and Kevin Galos(Big Ring). The presentation ran 45 minutes and covered the vision of the non-profit in terms of trail projects and economic development for Groveland and surrounding area. We presented economic statistics that painted a picture of the potential benefits of trail tourism based on case studies of similar rural communities that invested in trail development.  We also addressed the subject of sustainability as a necessary component of trail development and spoke about how partnering with the USFS, Groveland Ranger District and completing the mandatory NEPA process would address any potential conflicts with soil and/or sensitive plant and animal species.

On display at the event we had a draft map of the proposed project area which includes over 20 miles of single-track mountain bike trails with a beginner skills section and the addition of a multi-use loop.

The event included the screening of the documentary, Pedal Driven-a film documenting the development of sustainable mountain bike trails in several areas of the nation.

Thanks to all who attended! And thanks to all the people who helped with set up and clean up, you know who you are 😉



Exchequer Mountain Bike Park Trail Work Weekend: January 24-25, 2015

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What a great weekend at Lake McClure! The Groveland Trail Heads first “affiliate” the Exchequer Riders Club have an incredible project going on. Here is a quote from Josh Malcolm, fellow TROGS(Trail Riders Of Greater Stanislaus)member and an experienced trail builder- “There are plans on making this accessible for beginners, paracyclists, HS racing and already has some reasonably advanced trails with potential for some nastiness. There are plans for bike repair stations in multiple locations. Want to build a super tight techy trail? Cool. Want to build a trail your mom or daughter could ride? cool. Want to build a teeter totter followed by a bridge and a 30 ft gap jump? cool. Want to build a DH rock decent that may make your friends crap their pants? Cool. Want to build and xc or enduro race course? cool.” Could not have said it better ourselves…

Keep an eye open for future trail build days and go ride the mountain bike only trails that are already ready to ride.

Here are some pictures from the Trail Work Weekend: Jan.24th- 25th, 2015. There were 20 people on Saturday and 6 people Sunday. In two days we cut 3/4 of a mile of trail!!!

Groveland- A Mountain Bike Destination


Meet the Groveland Trail Heads and learn how this group of cyclists is working to improve the year- round economic potential of Groveland and surrounding communities by creating a World Class Mountain Bike Destination for ALL skill levels to enjoy. We have a lot of support and incredible partnerships to make this happen. We’ll talk about the potential for community benefits and growth, youth involvement, community volunteerism, Forest Stewardship, sustainable trail building, jobs and increases in off season business. Please join us February 21st from 3pm- 5pm at Camp Tuolumne Trails. Our presentation will be followed by a Q & A then a screening of the documentary film Pedal Driven! We’ll have snacks and drinks… this event is free :)