Rider: Ryan Schuppert
Video & Editing by Jaret Brantley // Drone & 2nd camera by Mike Ruffell
Words by Nathan Knudsen
It used to be that a trip to the trail system at Swasey Recreation Area
was like a trip your aunt's house when you were young. Although not as fun as Grandma's, it sure was better than being at the odd smelling daycare place. It had a sense of familiarity, it was nearby and while the toy selection wasn't great, you knew some other kids hadn't been putting them in their mouth. The trails at Swasey were similar. They've been around long enough that they feel like family. Your tires have rolled across them so many times that any excitement they might have once had starts to feel commonplace. You didn't go ride Swasey in seek of adventure or thrills. You went there because of its convenience. A five-minute drive from downtown Redding, you're able to get 20 plus miles on the dirt and one or two thousand feet of elevation without touching pavement once.
That all changed last year with the addition of the Enticer
. What is now the Enticer trail has filled many roles over the years. It started out as an access road for old mining operations. When the Swasey trail system was put in in the early 2000s, the road was used to complete a loop called the Wintu Loop. This section of trail proved to be a maintenance and managerial nightmare. Erosion was so bad that large rolling dips would fill with sediment and quickly become ineffective. To the land managers unease, trail users started to build unsanctioned jumps of various sizes and quality down the old road.
Enter Redding Trail Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit trail building/advocacy organization. Working with BLM we developed a plan that would turn the old road into a world-class, bike park style trail. Our goal with this project was to provide the mountain bike community with a trail they could feel good about progressing their jumping skills on. A trail unlike any other in Redding where riders of all skill levels can grow by pushing their limits, trying something new and feel comfortable while doing it. All the while, the road to trail conversion would also do wonders to remedy the current sustainability issues of the old road. Constant grade reversals, out slopes and drains help get the water off the trail at every opportunity.
Enticer was finished in the spring of 2017, it took 2 months of work and over 1000 man hours to complete. The final product is incredible! The entire line is 1 mile long with 24 jumps of various sizes and difficulty, 21 berms and dozens of rollers.
Following the momentum of this build Redding Trail Alliance has refurbished 2 other trails at Swasey and has flagged several miles of new trail to be developed in 2019!
None of this would be possible without the support of BLM and The McConnell Foundation.
Now that the Enticer exists, a visit to Swasey has become like a visit to your favorite grandma's house. You know, the one that lets you stay up past your bedtime playing with that brand new toy and eating WAY too much dessert.