Pine Mountain Lake Unit 16 Public Trail System Update

Hello Readers!

We’ve been busy. There have been a lot of developments taking place in the Pine Mountain Lake Unit 16 Public Trail System since construction got underway last build season.


In 2014, The Groveland Trail Heads began working with the Pine Mountain Lake Association to develop an agreement (MOU) for the development of a trail system in Pine Mountain Lake’s Unit 16. We identified areas for development in the 400+ acre unit and began by designing and building the first trail in the system (called, for now, Phase 1). We worked with local volunteers and partnered with the Tuolumne River Trust and the United States Forest Service to bring out volunteer groups to complete 1/3 of a mile of trail by hand. This small trail took all of the Winter and Spring for us to build and was very rewarding. We were able to create partners out of local businesses and received a grant from the Sonora Area Foundation’s Trail Me About It fund in order to purchase a fleet of tools and to feed our volunteers.

After last year’s work, we reassessed our plan and began to focus on developing a system plan. As it stands now, the planned system includes 5-7 miles of trail. We enlisted the help and expertise of Kalen Klingberg from Black & Veatch so that we could create a plan for the trail corridors within the system.


In the Summer of 2016, we received an in-kind, 100+ hour donation of services from Sierra Overhead Analytics. SOA used a drone to survey Unit 16 and created topographic data and high resolution imagery of the project area that can be used for planning purposes.


We also began to think of the system in terms of youth development and as a race and event venue. We contacted Robert Ramirez, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association Nor Cal High School Race League Director and began looking at ways to develop a NICA High School Race League race venue. We recently received a letter of support from Robert expressing his interest in the development of the system to be used as a venue in 2018 for High School Race League and also as a venue for youth camps.


Due to the fundraising efforts on behalf of Tom Walker of the Groveland Trail Heads, and due to our goals for youth development, we were able to raise funds for this project.


During the Summer, Dwight Follien of the Groveland Trail Heads logged 25 maintenance hours on the Phase 1 trail. Go Dwight!

In October of 2016, we partnered with the USFS, CCC’s, NPS, Contour Logic, and the OHV Funds grant program to host a Trail Stewardship Summit which brought together attendees from the public and private sectors. The Trail Stewardship Summit focused on the design and implementation of sustainable trail design and maintenance practices. As a result of the Trail Stewardship Summit, an additional 1/3 of a mile of trail was designed by Scott Gordon of Contour Logic and constructed by the California Conservation Corps. The segment of trail that was built represents the upper leg of the Phase 2 trail (called Phase 2A) in the Pine Mountain Lake Unit 16 Public Trail System. As a result of the training offered by ContourLogic during the Trail Stewardship Summit, the Groveland Trail Heads was able to work with attendees under the direction of Scott Gordon to begin the corridor flagging for the lower leg of the second trail in the system. Read all about it and see pictures HERE.

FUTURE 1-5 (or less) YEAR GOALS

The overall goal for us is to design and build all of the trails in the Pine Mountain Lake Public Trail System by 2018. The realization of this goal relies heavily on our ability to secure funding.

We are currently working on a budget so that we can find ways to fund a professional, mechanized build of the system using a hybrid approach of volunteer and paid hand crews as well as professional machine operators. We feel that this will be the most efficient use of time and will allow us to build a system that is intelligently designed so that we can provide specific experiences for all ability levels of non-motorized trail users. Part of our plan includes the creation of opportunities for both Tuolumne County work programs and for youth.

We plan to work with the Tuolumne County work programs to prepare the trail corridors for mechanized construction. This will allow us to contain the costs of hiring a professional contractor for brush work and hand work while making a positive impact on members of our community.

We would also like to involve youth in the design and layout of trails in the system by hosting trail design camps and youth stewardship camps in partnership with NICA. We are working on a plan to host a camp of this sort that will include training and education for youth so that we can complete the necessary step of professionally designing and laying out trails in the system while providing an opportunity for youth to learn about sustainable design practices. We should note that this plan is a dream and has not been formalized. However, if we can find a way to wrap youth into the design/build of this system, it’s a win-win!

Winter and Spring 2016/2017
Our immediate goal is to be able to fund and build a little over a mile of trail during this Winter and Spring. This segment of trail is the second leg of the Phase 2 trail (Phase 2B). In addition, we will be organizing volunteer groups to complete sections of the Phase 1 and Phase 2A trails in the system.

Moving forward, we plan to work with our partners to find the most efficient and economical way to complete the entirety of the system.


If you are a business or individual and you would like to become a sponsor for this project, please go to the fundraising portal for this project. We can offer some incentives including advertising for your business and/or trail dedications. For more information, please contact us.

We are all unpaid volunteers, giving our time and energy to this project and others. We donate our time an experience to the creation of a trail and recreation destination in our region so that we can improve the lives of everyone who depends on our local economy. All of the donations we receive are directly applied to trail projects.

Become a youth coordinator

Part of our mission is to facilitate the creation of a local or regional High School Race League team. If you or anyone you know is interested in coaching or working with NICA to create a High School Race League team, please contact us. We would like to take part in developing opportunities for youth both in the sport of mountain biking and in creating opportunities for stewardship. There are grant programs available to help qualifying kids buy bikes and we need someone to lead this charge.

Leave a Comment