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Hornbeck Trail and Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail

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Redding, California

Hornbeck Trail and Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Redding, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.5 mi Elevation gain 324 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Road biking Running Rails trails River Views
Description
Waypoints (1)

Follow part of the path of the "Old Diggings" or Quartz Hill Railroad. The long abandoned narrow gauge railroad was a critical feature that once supplied quartz to area copper smelters. Traverse the many cuts through bedrock where a steam engine once ran. Look for signs of historic residences that housed local workers employed in mining. Don't let your explorations limit your enjoyment of the many vistas of Keswick Reservoir and seasonal wildflower displays.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (164)
Photos (80)
Recordings (148)
Completed (212)
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Scott Brown
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Hiking

Great trail. It’s about a hour Mt bike ride.

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Ben Hobbs
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Mountain bikingScramble
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Gregg Harrington
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Hiking

Great trail, little boring on the scenery, but there are a few nice places to look down at the Sacramento River.

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Alisha Austad
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Mountain biking

Love this trail. Perfect for a beginner. And has a few good views.

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Angel Nuñéz
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Hiking

Good trail hiked with my mom and although I suggested we wait for evening she said it was shady and it was very nice. And of course even though I read reviews about people getting off course and extending their hike, we did it too ended up 7.5 miles and the loop we missed was so easy to spot.

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Jennifer Crean
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Hiking

Easy hike that wasn't too busy. Great for beginning mountain biking. If you're on a bike head towards the right for less climbing.

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Cris Thompson
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HikingRocky

Most of the trail has trees blocking the scenery. Occasionally you’ll get a nice break in the tree line to take a decent picture. It adds another 4 mi to this trail but if you really want some beautiful views, take the FB trail off the Hornbeck to the “waterfall”. Beautiful Sacramento River views here! Overall the trail seems more suited for biking but it’s mostly flat. Also the second half of the trail has these little loops that aren’t on All Trails but can confuse you if you’re trying to stay on track.

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Mindy Giffin
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HikingBugs

Great trail for a consistent work out. I like the occasional steep inclines. I stayed on the main trail instead of taking the lower Sac trail. I also added the trail to the water, so did just about 8 miles total. Pros - good shade for the hotter days, great workout with the incline, path to water (if you choose), nice view, although occasional. Cons - certain patches were really buggy. You have to pay attention to the signs, as many other trails cross paths. If I lived here, this would be a regular spot for a good workout on a hotter day.

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Leslie Hall
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Walking

Mostly shaded April 7, 2020. Although there is lots of signage, using the AT map helps immensely at the numerous junctions.

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naomi wells
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HikingBugsRocky
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Beth Lu
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HikingBugs
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Deb Peel
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HikingMuddy
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Leslie Hall
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6.8 miles since we included a diversion closer to the river. Easy terrain. Lovely hike on a chilly day.

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Anna Sylke
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Hiking

Totally did not read the reviews beforehand, and definitely turned this into a 7+ mile hike that lasted until dark. Oops. With that, wonderful hike! Not very difficult with only light inclines and declines

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Amy Parks
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Hiking

This is a great trail for conversational hiking, as the inclines are gradual and most of the route, you’re surrounded by foliage. Occasionally, the view opens up to reveal the Sacramento River down below and it’s quite beautiful, especially around dusk. Be forewarned, though, to make this a 5-mile hike, you cannot keep following the signs for Hornbeck trail. You have to turn off at the fork labeled “Lower Ditch Trail.” After reading the reviews of others who accidentally lengthened their hike, we went in prepared with GPS trail recording and everything, but we still missed the turn because we were following the trail markers for Hornbeck. Because of that, our hike became 7.7 miles, and we finished by moonlight. It was still fun, though, and the closeness and accessibility of this trail makes it one I’d like to return to.

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Nicki Crain
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Hiking

Started off the new year by heading out mid morning to the trailhead. There were quite a few cars and horse trailers parked around it, but only saw a handful of people out and about. There are so many connecting trails that you could really loop this in a lot of ways. The route that we took ended up being just under 7 miles, and that included a little offshoot to the water near the northern part of the loop. Not a lot of views and not difficult at all (except maybe the distance for some people), but this is a well maintained trail and it was very relaxing. I would love to go back out and hit some of the other connecting trails.

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Kayla Smith
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Hiking

very pretty and enjoyable trail

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Peter Limon
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Hiking

Most of the trail has views of just the trail and mostly manzanita, I guess I was spoiled by the chamise hike .

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Andrea Avila
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HikingRocky
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Angelica Roth
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Hiking

Great trail. Keep your gps on so you don’t go onto the wrong trail. They are marked but you can still miss them easily.

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Jessica Clary
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Hiking

We went on to explore some more ended up going up up up on a fire trail. Turned into a 13 mile hike. My 11 year old puppies were soooo tired.

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Franki Mannion
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Hiking

got lost and turned the 5 mile hike into a 7 mile hike DOWNLOAD THE MAP there is only one lake entrance at the very beginning but our two pups loved it! (as always)

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Clara Stamborg
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Hiking

easy flat and beautiful running trail. easy to find the way. would def. recomend.

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Keith Shannon
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Hiking

I go out here all the time with my Border Collie Seymour. We hit this trail on all sides sometimes starting at Quartz Hill, other times starting at Walker Mine. I love hanging out at the waterfall area when it's flowing. It's such a calming sound with a beautiful view of the reservoir. Hornbeck goes to Walker Mine Road and right before you get to Walker mine Rd you will bass Frida's Overlook which gives you an incredible view of the reservoir as well. You can park at Walker Mine Rd and go back on the trail if you don't want to do a full loop (although I may be talking about different parts of the trail). Also off Walker Mine road and visible from Frida's Overlook is a picnic area right on the water (if you look down to the right from the overlook bench). On walker mine road there is a gate that says private property. But if you walk down to the bottom there is a sign that says while it's private property if you follow the posted rules (obvious stuff like no litter etc) then it is open to the public. It has a grill and everything down there. From Walker Mine Rd you can also take a different trail (also BLM land so leash free) that goes all the way to Shasta Dam where you can also park & take the trail backwards.

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Sunny Michael
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Hiking

Great place to grab the dog and/or kids and enjoy nature. In April, there are still little creeks running and you can see snow on the mountains. Wonderful place to walk or bike for sure.

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Jeff Aguiar
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Hiking

My dog and I out for a Sunday hike, great trail, well marked and maintained, definitely do it again..

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Leslie Hall
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Super well marked, especially considering the fires of last summer.

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Brent Weber
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Hiking

Murphy and Billy visited the vet today for shots so I kept it to only about three miles on the Quartz Hill side. Mother Nature has sure dropped some trees in the winter storm but what we saw was clear and safe.

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Brent Tasson
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Hiking

Fun trail. There’s lots of shade for most of the walk. The first portion of the walk is mostly forested, followed by views of the Shasta trinity alps.

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