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California State Parks

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USA Parks
Northern California Region
Latour Demonstration State Forest
Latour Demonstration State Forest © Gary OToole
Valley Quail ©
Valley Quail
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This property became a state forest in 1946 when the State Lands Commission deeded the property to the then California Division of Forestry. It is located in Shasta County south of Burney and east of Redding at the edge of the Lassen National Forest. LaTour forest contains many interesting volcanic and glacial geological features.

The forest supports 10 coniferous tree species of commercial value. These are sugar, ponderosa, Jeffrey, western white and lodge-pole pine, Douglas-fir, white and red fir incense cedar and mountain hemlock. The stands contain lesser amounts of hardwood trees, such as California black and canyon live oak, big leaf maple and red alder.

As part of the Cascade Range, the area is popular with hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers, and equestrian groups. Hunting and fishing may be enjoyed in season and in accordance with the Department of Fish and Game laws.

Normally, the forest is accessible to vehicles from late June until November. Winter and spring months are often a time of high winds, deep snow, and extreme cold, making the area inaccessible to vehicle traffic except snowmobiles. Campsites include picnic tables, fire rings, restroom facilities and water is available. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash. Please keep horses out of campgrounds.

In the summer and fall, forest roads are open to public travel except when there is danger due to logging equipment. The use of scooters, carts, mountain bikes, etc., is restricted to the forest roads.
History of the Area
Latour Demonstration State Forest is located in Siskiyou County, California, USA. Its history dates back to the mid-20th century when the need for a research and demonstration forest was recognized by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). The forest was established in 1949 and named after Hiram Latour, a pioneering forester who actively promoted forestry education and research in California.

The primary objective of creating Latour Demonstration State Forest was to provide a dedicated space for research, education, and demonstration of sustainable forest management practices. The forest covers an area of approximately 3,500 acres and is situated within the Klamath Mountains ecoregion, known for its diverse forest ecosystems.

In the early years of the forest's history, various research studies were conducted, focusing on topics such as timber growth, silviculture, and fire management. The information gathered from these studies helped inform and improve forest management practices throughout the state of California.

In addition to research activities, Latour Demonstration State Forest serves as an outdoor classroom for forestry students and professionals. It offers opportunities for field trips, training, and workshops on topics like forest ecology, timber harvesting techniques, and wildfire management. The forest also provides access to recreational activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping.

The forest management practices applied at Latour Demonstration State Forest have evolved to accommodate changing societal, economic, and environmental needs. Today, the forest continues to serve as an important research and educational resource, striving to demonstrate sustainable forest management practices that balance economic and ecological considerations.
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Latour Demonstration State Forest is

1. Picnic Areas: The forest provides designated picnic areas where visitors can set up their picnic spread. These areas are equipped with picnic tables and ample space for families or groups to relax and enjoy their meals together.

2. Shady Groves: Latour Demonstration State Forest features several shady groves, providing a tranquil atmosphere for picnickers. Visitors can find a peaceful spot under the trees, spread out a blanket, and enjoy their meals amidst nature.

3. Scenic Overlooks: The forest offers scenic overlooks with breathtaking views, making them ideal picnic spots. Visitors can choose a viewpoint overlooking the forest landscape, mountains, or rivers, and indulge in a picnic while appreciating the beauty of their surroundings.

4. Nature Trails: Latour Demonstration State Forest boasts numerous nature trails that lead to picturesque locations. Visitors can embark on a hike, find a secluded spot along the trail, and have a picnic surrounded by the serene environment and wildlife.

5. Day Use Areas: The forest also provides designated day use areas with facilities such as picnic tables, BBQ grills, and restroom facilities. These areas are perfect for families or groups looking for a complete picnic experience.
1. Latour Demonstration State Forest Loop: This is a moderate 6-mile loop trail that offers scenic views of the surrounding forest and wildlife sightings, including deer and various bird species.

2. McGinnis Lake Trail: A challenging hike with an elevation gain of over 1000 feet, this trail takes you to the beautiful McGinnis Lake nestled in between towering trees.

3. Old Growth Redwood Grove Trail: An easy walk through one of California's old-growth redwoods groves; it's perfect for families or those looking for a leisurely stroll amidst nature's grandeur.

4. Manzanita Point Lookout Hike: Offering panoramic vistas from Manzanita Point lookout tower at its peak point, this moderately difficult hiking route covers around five miles round trip with significant altitude changes along the way.

5. Ash Creek Wildlife Area Trails: These trails are located on flat terrain making them suitable even for beginners while offering opportunities to spot local fauna like beavers and otters near water bodies within these routes.

6. Crystal Basin Recreation Area Trails: With multiple interconnected paths covering diverse terrains such as meadows, creekside areas & dense forests ; hikers can choose their preferred difficulty level here.

7. South Fork Mountain Ridge Road: It provides breathtaking views across Shasta County but requires careful navigation due to steep drop:offs alongside some parts.

8. Bigfoot Scenic Byway: Although primarily meant as driving path, sections can also be explored by foot revealing stunning landscapes dotted with rivers , mountains & abundant greenery.

9. Whiskeytown National Recreational Park Paths: Located just outside boundary limits yet worth mentioning because they offer numerous well:marked tracks leading towards pristine lakeshores or up into higher altitudes providing spectacular outlooks onto neighboring regions.

10. Fortuna Peak Track: For experienced climbers seeking adrenaline rush via strenuous uphill climbs culminating atop Fortuna Peak where one can enjoy 360-degree views of the entire forest reserve and beyond..

11. Burney Falls Loop Trail: A short, easy trail that leads to a stunning waterfall view; it's perfect for families or those looking for an easier hike with rewarding scenery.

12. Pacific Crest Trail Section: This section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail runs through Latour Demonstration State Forest offering long-distance hikers chance to experience diverse landscapes within this protected area.

13. Hat Creek Rim Overlook Hike: An intermediate level track leading towards Hat Creek overlook, known as prime spot among birdwatchers & nature photographers due its unique vantage point over surrounding wilderness.

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Area Campgrounds
Hat Creek Resort & RV Park
14533 Highway 44-98
Old Station, CA
Mt. Lassen/Shingletown KOA
7749 KOA Road
Shingletown, CA

1. Start by heading onto Highway 299 if you are coming from the east or west.
2. Take Exit 678 for County Road A19 towards Burney/Fall River Mills.
3. Merge onto Cassel Fall River Rd/County Hwy A19 and continue to follow it for about 4 miles.
4. Turn left onto Main St/A20 and drive for approximately half a mile before turning right onto McArthur Rd/A:21 N.
5. Continue on this road for around 8 miles until you reach the entrance of Latour Demonstration State Forest.

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California State Parks