Annual Report

HTC – 2022 Accomplishments

The Humboldt Trails Council (HTC) consists of a 10-person volunteer Board, a dozen committed volunteer trail coordinators, one phenomenal part-time staff member, and a whole lot of community support for trail stewardship! In the past year, HTC has accomplished the following:

  • The Volunteer Trail Stewards (VTS) program logged more than 4800 hours of work on 10 local trails to maintain trails, build new trail segments, rehabilitate sections of trail, and keep the trails clear of trash and graffiti. HTC has contractual agreements with Humboldt County, City of Eureka, City of Arcata, Bureau of Land Management, North Coast Regional Land Trust and McKinleyville Land Trust to assist these organizations to develop and maintain trails on their lands. 
  • In October 2021, HTC held Volunteer Recognition Events at 6 separate trail sites to celebrate, recognize, and thank our VTS volunteers for their dedication to trail maintenance for the past 11 years!! 
  • In September 2022, a special recognition event was held for the Trail Coordinators who organize the monthly trail workdays: a catered dinner, lots of appreciative comments, and gifts for their years of dedication leading their VTS crews. Some of these Trail Coordinators have been committed to their trails for more than 10 years! Thank you, Stacy, for your work on the Hammond Trail since 2011 and Rees for your work on the Arcata Community Forest since 2012.
  • Completed landscape rehabilitation and planting of 52 native shrubs on the Wharf Trail along Eureka’s Waterfront Trail
  • A major project this year has been the fundraising for and acquisition of a Kubota Flail Mower. This equipment will be used by staff (County Public Works, City of Eureka, City of Arcata, McKinleyville Community Services District) to help maintain trails and reduce the invasive species that crowd out our native plants on many trails. 

This has been a collaborative project involving the entities listed above who will utilize the equipment plus local foundations, clubs and businesses who have donated to make this purchase a reality. The Kubota with various attachments will cost almost $70,000 and will contribute significantly to trail maintenance on many local trails. 

  • Organized an in-person Trails Summit in 2022 (September 24th) with presentations by Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire and Karyn Gear, interim director for the Great Redwood Trail Agency, who gave updates on the Great Redwood Trail. Hank Seemann (Humboldt County Department of Public Works) presented updates on local trails with emphasis on the Humboldt Bay Trail and McKay Community Forest. The Summit also included a trails resource fair with fourteen organizations and agencies speaking to the public about the new trails coming on-line in our county. The video recording of the entire 2022 Trails Summit can be accessed HERE
  • Maintained a website ( to provide information about trail workdays, upcoming trail events, profiles of our volunteers, pending legislation that affects trail users (such as the Great Redwood Trail)
  • Facilitated purchase of trail counters that are being installed on the Eureka Waterfront and Hammond Trails to document and analyze trail use. These trail counters were purchased (and will be installed) by HTC through the generosity of an anonymous donor. HTC will then give the counters to County of Humboldt to track and analyze trail data which will help in trail planning and development; provide data needed for grant applications for many trail projects
  • Organized the June 4th (National Trails Day) Trail User event which invited families and individuals to visit our trails; provided fun activities, swag, and information at trail stations. We want all Humboldt County residents to enjoy our many local trails! Volunteers were present at three locations (Hikshari’ Trail, Waterfront North Trail near Blue Ox, and Bay Trail North near the Arcata Marsh) with activities, snacks, information and enthusiasm for all hikers and bikers who visited the trails that day.
  • HTC was a founding and extremely active member of the No Coal In Humboldt coalition that worked throughout the year on a variety of fronts to stop the threat of a coal train running from Wyoming to Humboldt Bay. This group helped pass 15 resolutions and ordinances, collectively submitted 21 filings with the Surface Transportation Board, and rallied a strong show of community support to keep our air and water clean. This group is still active in supporting railbanking for the northern portion of the rail right-of-way and trying to keep Mendocino Railway (Skunk Train parent company) from taking control of 13 miles of that right-of-way.
  • Attended numerous meetings and wrote countless letters to support trail development, advocate for safe transportation, collaborate with other trail organizations, and support legislation promoting trail development.

Advocated for and provided public input on the following trail projects:

  • Annie & Mary Trail
  • Arcata Ridge Trail
  • McKay Community Forest
  • Bay-to-Zoo Trail
  • McKinleyville Community Forest
  • Trail that will extend south from Hikshari’ Trail to Humboldt Hill and eventually to College of the Redwoods
  • Humboldt Bay Trail
  • Great Redwood Trail
  • Little River Trail
  • Continued to inform subscribers through our eNewsletter which is distributed 4-6 times annually to 1000 trail supporters; to be put on the mailing list, visit our website ( and click on NEWSLETTER or click on the link HERE.
  • Launched two new VTS work crews to begin the development of 31 miles of trails in McKay Community Forest. The “regular” VTS work crew meets the first Saturday of each month from 9AM – Noon to develop and maintain the network of trails that will comprise the community forest. Additionally, there is an intensive crew that meets twice weekly from 9AM – 2PM to jumpstart the development of the trails in McKay. We appreciate the dedication of these trail workers for both work crews!
  • The County Board of Supervisors has recently approved the McKay Community Forest plans so there was a grand opening ceremony on September 29th to officially open the forest to trail users. Come visit McKay Community Forest!
  • The slate of officers for the Humboldt Trails Council board of directors in 2023 will be identical to the current line-up. 

President – Michael Proulx; Vice President – Bruce Silvey

Treasurer – Kemset Moore; Secretary – Stevie Luther

HTC BALANCE SHEET november 2022

HTC – 2021 Accomplishments

Though 2021 has been a challenging year, we have managed to accomplish a great deal. We continue to have virtual meetings for our Board of Directors and most committee meetings. It may not be as personal and as much fun, but we still manage to make progress on our trail goals.

Volunteer Trail Stewards (VTS): Our volunteers continue to maintain local trails throughout Humboldt County. During almost every weekend, one trail crew or another is helping the community to care for our recreational resources. During 2020, despite the restrictions posed by Covid, VTS volunteers performed 3609 hours of service on 7 local trails. Figures for 2021 VTS program are projected to be even higher (approximately 4500 hours). More detail is available here.

2021 Trails Summit: HTC became the lead organizer for the 2021 Trails Summit (held June 5th) which again featured presentations by Hank Seemann about the Humboldt Bay Trail and Senator Mike McGuire about the Great Redwood Trail. 

There were also eight video clips, describing the current activities of a wide range of trails organizations. The HTC video presentation highlighted unique features of four of our VTS trails – Hammond Trail, Wigi Wetlands, Wharf Trail and Arcata Community Forest.  The Trails Summit was recorded and is archived on our website so anyone can view the event here.

Formation of Volunteer Committee: HTC has formed a new committee to help with recruitment of volunteers for the VTS program and other HTC projects. The Committee is currently implementing the Volunteer Recognition Events to celebrate our many VTS volunteers who work on local trail maintenance. 

E-newsletter: Our e-Newsletter is currently distributed to 999 subscribers through our contract with Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA). The newsletter which is distributed 5-6 times annually provides content to inform our trail enthusiasts (equestrians, cyclists and hikers) about trail development projects, pertinent legislation that may impact trail users, upcoming events, and much more. To subscribe, click on this link here.

HTC Website ( – increased functionality, more content, more frequent updates, ongoing listing of events and trail workdays, PHOTOS! Board member Steve Jones has done a great job of organizing the website to be more user-friendly and has maintained the calendar and other pages to keep information timely.

In addition to the enhanced website, the Community Engagement Committee has also increased our postings to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Advocacy committee continues to support the development of:

  • Bay-to-Zoo trail in Eureka
  • “Final Four” of the Humboldt Bay Trail
  • railbanking which is a key step in the development of the Great Redwood Trail
  • and much more!

 The detailed Advocacy Committee report can be viewed here.

HTC donation: HTC has arranged for a donation of trail counters to County of Humboldt; the trail counters will be used to gather data on number and types of trail users for two local trails. The two counters will be installed near the Eureka Slough Bridge and on the Hammond Trail in McKinleyville.  

Such trail usage information is critical for grant applications, decision-making for local trail development, and much more. Hank Seemann, Deputy Director of Environmental Services in Humboldt County Public Works Department, notes that this donation will enable the County to obtain accurate data on trail use, better understand our trail users, and develop information that can support trail planning and management.

Volunteer recognition events: HTC has organized several Volunteer events to recognize the valuable contributions of our many VTS volunteers who maintain trails throughout Humboldt County. We are designating October as Volunteer Recognition Month to celebrate with the VTS volunteers and let them know how much the community appreciates their trail maintenance efforts over these last 11 years. 

At this time, the Volunteer Recognition Events have already commenced with celebrations on the Hammond Trail in McKinleyville and Wharf Trail in Eureka. We will continue these celebrations during the month of October until we have honored all the volunteers on the six trails that hold monthly VTS trail workdays. Speakers included:

Natalie Arroyo, Eureka City Councilwoman
Susan Seaman, Eureka City Mayor
Steve Madrone, County Board of Supervisors
Dennis Houghton, Trail Coordinator
Emily Sinkhorn, Director of Environmental Services, City of Arcata
Robin Praszker, Environmental Project Manager, City of Eureka Department of Community Services

VTS Coordinator: Rachael Garcia has been hired as the new VTS Coordinator after departure of previous VTS coordinator Renee Thibodeau. Rachael has just started in mid-August and is busy visiting all the trail sites to become acquainted with the Trail Coordinators, the volunteers and the trails. Below is her “Trail Biography”:

Rachael Garcia began trail blazing at an early age, helping build a mountain path and clearing brush on her family’s farm in rural San Diego County. In high school she joined Cuyamaca Rancho State Park’s trail maintenance unit, tending to one of her favorite places to hike and camp. As a frequent traveler enthralled with California’s biodiversity, Rachael loves to venture from the Lost Coast to the Mojave Desert. The most thrilling trails she’s trekked are upper Yosemite Falls and the Half Dome summit. In 2012, Rachael felt called to the redwoods and came to Humboldt State to study environmental science. She currently enjoys working at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, helping coordinate VTS activities, riding her bike and exploring the Arcata Community Forest and Trinidad SB. Her favorite local trail is the Rockefeller Loop at Bull Creek Flats. Rachael is excited to help support and enhance trails in our community, and looking forward to the expansion of VTS programs and trail sites.  

Trail Moments: HTC participated in the Trail Moments project sponsored by our national partner organization, Rail-to-Trail Conservancy. The Trail Moments signs (posted on several trails during 2020 and early 2021) invited trail users to submit comments about the trails through online media. The Rail-to-Trail Conservancy collected the comments from each county or region and then shared all the comments.

Humboldt County received many positive and thoughtful comments about the value of trails to local people especially during the isolation that many people experienced due to the pandemic. Since the Trail Moments signs were posted in both English and Spanish, we received many comments from Latinx residents which added to the richness and variety of the trail user responses and perspectives. 

Here are two brief examples of the Trail Moments:

“Since I don’t bike commute to the office anymore, I use trails for exercise. I have learned to observe birds more and trails are a great place to see them.”

“Good for the family to breathe air and not stare at a screen. My kids learn so much and enjoy the discoveries only found outside by doing and exploring. “

HTC Slate of Officers for 2022

One of the important functions of the Annual Meeting/Annual Report is to inform our trail members of the functioning of the Board of Directors. Each year in September/October, the board selects a slate of officers for the coming calendar year. At our September board meeting, the following officers were nominated and accepted for service in 2022:

President – Michael Proulx

Vice President – Bruce Silvey

Treasurer – Kemset Moore

Secretary – Stevie Luther