Sundial Bridge

Connected trail pair selected for scenic value, high use, and community connections

Washington, D.C. – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails advocacy organization, today announced that California’s Sacramento River Rail Trail and Sacramento River Trail will be inducted to its iconic Hall of Fame.

Nestled beneath the Cascade and Trinity mountains, the trails provide 21 miles of transportation and recreation along California’s largest river. The trail pair was selected for outstanding merits, including RTC’s expanded eligibility criteria this year, which prioritizes multiuse trails that deliver exceptional accessibility and user experience, and contributions to the connectivity of regional trail and active transportation systems.

“Essential Community Assets”

“Across the country, connected trail systems are proving their significance as essential community assets-creating safe space for people to be active outside, connecting neighbors and neighborhoods, and creating more transportation and mobility options for entire regions,” said Ryan Chao, president of RTC. “This year’s Hall of Fame nominees were examples of exceptional trails that are fundamental to our vision of a future where trails connect everyone, everywhere. The Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail stand out by illustrating the impact of connecting trails in ways that provide opportunities for recreation, transportation and intimate connections to the history and nature steeped in place.”

Upper Sacramento River

Regional trail system

Once serving as a travel and trade route for indigenous peoples, then later by a subsidiary of the Central Pacific Railroad, the Sacramento River Rail Trail and Sacramento River Trail provide opportunities for the community to be active, access the outdoors, and connect to neighborhoods and destinations in and around the City of Redding, including the Shasta Lake Recreation Area and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The trails also serve as a backbone for a developing regional trail system that encompasses more than 250 miles and will eventually stretch from the Shasta Dam to Redding’s southern neighbor, Anderson, and beyond.

“We are excited to share with the world that the Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail are indeed Hall of Fame worthy. We are grateful for our many partners who have collaborated on the development and expansion of the trails and our many users and support organizations who make the trails better every day. We invite you to visit and experience these world-class trails and scenic river,” said Kimberly Niemer, director of community services for the City of Redding.

Linking Upper Sacramento River

The trails are home to the Sundial Bridge, an awe-inspiring feature that links both sides of the Upper Sacramento River. The 700-foot-long, cable-stayed, glass and steel working sundial spanning the Sacramento River attracts an estimated 100,000 global visitors each year.

The bridge, park and Redding’s vast network of trails-built in phases over the past three decades-have helped transform the region. The vast regional system of trails is a product of a partnership managed by the City of Redding, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service with the support of local groups, foundations, other agencies and community members.

“We are proud to partner with the City of Redding and other groups in managing these trails that improve the quality of life for residents of our area, while offering destination-worthy opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Jennifer Mata, manager of the BLM’s Redding Field Office.

The trail pair was among three nominees voted on by the public between Jul. 31 and Aug. 7, 2023, securing nearly 48% of the vote. The Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail duo is the 37th inductee in RTC’s Hall of Fame, joining an exemplary list of trails recognized for their outstanding scenic value, use, amenities, historical significance and community benefit. More than 30,000 votes were cast in the 2023 Hall of Fame contest. The other nominees were the Hennepin Canal State Trail in Illinois and the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail network in South Carolina. For more information about the Hall of Fame, visit railstotrails.org.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization-with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong-dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors.

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