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The Hornbeck Trail is one of several single-track dirt trails open on the east side of Keswick Reservoir in Shasta County. The trail follows the former route of the Quartz Hill Railway, which once hauled quartz along the narrow-gauge line to the Southern Pacific Railroad main line on the opposite side of the Sacramento River. From there, the quartz was hauled to the mining town of Kennett—submerged under Shasta Lake upon construction of the Shasta Dam—for use as an input for copper smelting.
The path, named for a local trail and railroad enthusiast who blazed much of the trail, is generally flat, with scenic views of Keswick Reservoir and nearby mountains throughout. The trail also connects twice to the slightly more challenging Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail, providing a straightforward loop opportunity.
Parking for the Hornbeck Trail is available at trailheads at opposite ends of the trail: Quartz Hill Road and Walker Mine Road.
To reach the southern trailhead at Quartz Hill Road, take Exit 682 from Interstate 5 onto Oasis Road. Head west on Oasis Road to its end, and turn right on Lake Boulevard. Then take the first left at Quartz Hill Road. You'll reach the trailhead—clearly marked as the Quartz Hill Railroad Trailhead—just before Comstock Lane.
To reach the northern trailhead at Walker Mine Road, take Exit 684 from Interstate 5 onto Pine Grove Avenue. Head west on Pine Grove Avenue to where it narrows into Walker Mine Road, and then continue on that winding road until it ends at a gate. The trailhead is clearly marked as the Walker Mine Road Trailhead.
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