Naturalist and hiker Justin Rohde discusses new Bigfoot Trail on the April 6, 2015 Sharon Kleyne Hour radio show

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New hiking trail will span 360 miles amid some of world’s most remote and bio-diverse forests naturalist Justin Rohde tells Bio-Logic Aqua® Research founder and water advocate Sharon Kleyne.

The proposed Bigfoot Trail, which will connect 6 Northern California Wilderness Areas in the Klamath Mountain and Coastal ranges, will be among the world’s most remote and bio-diverse hiking trails when completed. At 360 miles, the trail will be second in length in California only to the Pacific Crest Trail (1,710 miles in California). Naturalist, hiker and author Justin Rohde discussed the Bigfoot Trail on the Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show on April 6, 2015.

Justin Rohde is a naturalist and author with a degree in Political Ecology from Prescott College in Arizona. His special interest is locating and preserving prehistoric trails. Rohde is author of “Hiking Oregon and California’s Wild Rivers Country” (Backcountry Press, 2015,

The syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show, hosted by fresh water advocate Sharon Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The education oriented show is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, a global research and technology center founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere and dehydration. Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water® is the Research Center’s signature product for dry and dehydrated skin and eyes.

Rohde became interest in the Bigfoot Trail project because of his work with local organizations in mapping and restoring the old Kelsey Trail, which formerly collected Crescent City, on the California Coast, with the town of Yreka, 150 miles inland. The Kelsey route began as a Native American trail, then become a military trail, then a wagon road. Two developed segments ended up in the Marble Mountain Wilderness and the Siskiyou Wilderness.

Prior to Rohde’s involvement, some of the remainder had not been visited by hikers in 100 years. Rohde’s original objective was to create a trail connecting Crescent City with the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs north-south through the mountains immediately west of Yreka.    

Rohde ultimately connected with publisher and author Michael Klaufman, owner of Backcountry Press, who was promoting the Bigfoot Trail idea, which included the Kelsey Trail.

When completed, according to Rohde, the Bigfoot trail will be 360 miles long and will follow existing hiking trails, existing roads, restored prehistoric trails and some newly constructed trail segments. Elevations along the route will range from sea level to about 6,000 feet, passing near several summits over 8,000 feet.

The route, Rohde explains, will link hiking trails six federal wilderness areas (Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel, Trinity Alps, Russian, Marble Mountain, Red Buttes and Siskiyou), five national forests (Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity, Klamath, Rogue River-Siskiyou and Six Rivers), one national park (Redwood) and one national monument (California Coast)

The little known California Coast National Monument, says Rohde, is 800 mile long and includes the entire California coast line. However, most of it begins at the waterline and is submerged.

The most interesting aspect of the Bigfoot trail, according to Rohde, is its unique bio-diversity. Thirty-two conifer species grow along the route. No other comparable area in the world has 32 conifer species.

The Sugar Creek drainage in the Russian Wilderness, Kleyne adds, is world famous among botanists for being home to 18 conifer species. Sugar Creek and Sugar Lake lie just east of the Bigfoot Trail, in the vicinity of Bingham Lake.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
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