Eleven years ago the Sierre Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) saw opportunity in Graeagle, California, 35 miles from Downieville. The idea was to construct a 9-mile trail with 3,000 vertical feet of elevation. Eleven years later, the last piece of trail has been completed. The final 1.7 miles of singletrack bypass a jeep road for an uninterrupted singletrack experience.

Over the 11-year period, SBTS submitted and was rejected for numerous grant applications to fundraise for Mills Peak trail. So they made their own fundraiser. The 5 Bucks a Foot campaign raffled off a new Ibis mountain bike, and over two fundraisers, SBTS raised more than $100,000 for the construction of Mills Peak. That is 20,000 feet. Or 3.78 miles. Luckily, SBTS had an army of volunteers and local support to push that number up to 47,520 feet, or 9 miles. That’s $237,600 if it was truly $5 a foot. Two plus 2 is 4, minus 1 thats 3—quick maths.

Trail boss Henry O’Donnell using ‘Old Wobbly.’

Construction of the trail was no simple task either. Digging through the rocks and roots of the Sierra resulted in many broken hand tools and one broken trail dozer. The frozen ground and rocks proved too much for SBTS’ ‘Old Wobbly’ trail dozer, and snapped its steel arm clean off. Custom frame builder, Cameron Falconer, saved the day by welding Old Wobbly back together again. Who needs all the king’s horses and all the king’s men when you’ve got Cameron Falconer? With Old Wobbly back on the job, volunteers were able to get the rest of the trail finished.

SBTS will be hosting a workday on May 18th to put the finishing touches on the trail and have an official grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony.

Find more information here.