By April Gray
Nestled at the foot of magnificent Mount Shasta, historic McCloud is poised to be your year-around destination for family fun, business or hobby retreat, conference, or just a quiet getaway. Built as a lumber “company town” at the turn of the 19th century McCloud has preserved its character – the downtown area is a designated “historic district.” At 3,000 feet above sea level, the town enjoys four distinct seasons, each with its distinct pleasures. A quiet stop off of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway – the town invites enjoyment of the great outdoors and the delights of a friendly small town.
Starting in mid-April, warm breezes, occasional rain, and temperatures in the 60’s invite everyone to enjoy the outdoors. The town welcomes spring with the Mushroom Festival, held Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the presence of morels and boletus in surrounding forests. Spring snow melt fills local rivers and streams, making a trip to the McCloud River a must. You may drive straight to any of the three falls for a peaceful hike along the river, then hike or drive to the others. Known throughout the world as a superb fly-fishing stream, the McCloud River offers miles of entertainment and (maybe – it’s up to you!) a fresh trout dinner. Spring runoff and fall rains make the McCloud River a truly spectacular advanced whitewater experience for rafters and kayakers. Beautiful aqua-blue Lake McCloud (just 9 miles south of town), offers opportunities for fishing, boating, waterskiing, and other water sports as well.
Local hotels such as the McCloud River Mercantile and retailers such as the McCloud General Store or McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange will recommend fishing and other adventure guides. For lake fishing, bring your boat or rent a kayak at McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.
Antique car clubs love McCloud! Any summer weekend you may find the town filled with lovingly restored vehicles. Motorcycle clubs have discovered the town, as well, using the back roads for dual-sport fun. Camping abounds in and around McCloud. Two RV parks and several forest service campgrounds add up to hundreds of campsites to choose from.
Just south of McCloud on Squaw Valley Road is the McCloud Golf Club, this 9 hole par 36 golf course is situated on one of the most beautiful sites in Northern California. Established in 1923, McCloud Golf Club features a meandering creek, beautiful pines, aspens, and spectacular views of Mount Shasta from every hole. Open to the public April through November. Along with a view of Mount you may catch sight of nearly tame deer or other wildlife.
Downtown, you can browse in charming local shops and find a large area map featuring Forest Surface roads that are open to public use and invite exploration. You and your family can bring your bicycles or rent them from McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.
Outdoor fun continues throughout the summer, daytime temperatures can occasionally reach to the 90’s, but ease to more comfortable levels at night. Locals and visitors enjoy swimming at the Cattle Camp pool (McCloud River) and the McCloud reservoir. A beautiful shady walk along Squaw Creek intersects the Pacific Crest Trail, inviting a longer adventure.
McCloud’s Hoo Hoo Park features an open-air pavilion, where visitors will take pleasure in music concerts, such as the Concert in the Park scheduled for July 5, plays, and other entertainments throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Visitors are also invited to bring their bocce balls and play on the new courts in a lovely forest setting. The entire park, or specific parts of it, can be reserved for your group’s events through the local Community Services District.
Winter snows invite new outdoor activities. The Mount Shasta Ski Park (a 15 minute drive from downtown) invites downhill skiers and snowboarders to enjoy their sports while taking in the magnificence of Mount Shasta, beautiful in her new white coat. The Park is renowned for its ski school, as well has its hospitality for enthusiasts at all levels. The nearby Nordic Center provides groomed cross-country trails and offers lessons and rentals. Snowman’s Hill invites family fun, as do numerous trails now perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
McCloud is the perfect host for winter fun. A variety of luxury and cozy hotels offer “ski and stay” packages. They can offer maps of cross-country trails and direct you to obtain rental equipment at McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange. Local restaurants offer comfort food… or a gourmet spread – the choice is yours.
Looking for the perfect place for a group get-together? McCloud maybe just right for you. If you are bringing a large group, your hotelier can help you find meeting rooms, as well as coordinate with other facilities to be sure that your group is comfortable. Locally available are meeting rooms, luxury and family lodging, restaurants, shopping, massage therapists, and caterers, all with the perfect scenic backdrop for your family reunion, wedding, hobby gathering or business retreat. Come with a bunch of friends for a weekend away, or bring co-workers and enjoy the perfect environment for your next retreat.
At the McCloud General Store (www.mccloudgeneralstoreonline.com) you can enjoy award winning Mellelo coffee and fresh baked goods before you head out for your day. The store also offers an array of unique gifts and souvenirs including candles, candy, art, sporting goods and fishing gear. Come check out the year-round Christmas store which is a favorite of locals and travelers alike. The General Store also is your local resource for building supplies including lumber, electrical, and plumbing.
McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange (www.mccloudoutdoors.com) is a full service outdoors recreation gear & clothing store. They sell new & very slightly used outdoor clothing and gear. They are fast becoming the most popular paddling (rafting and kayaking) store in Northern California and Southern Oregon. They rent kayaks, canoes, bicycles, rafts, backpacking, hiking equipment, snowshoes and camping gear.
The McCloud River Mercantile Hotel (www.mccloudmercantile.com) offers beautifully appointed accommodations that reflect McCloud’s history. Rooms have been meticulously restored with period specific details from the 1890s to the 1940s. Come enjoy one of their ten suites from the Arts and Crafts Room, Railroad Room, Hot & Tot Room, to the Shasta Wintu Suite.
McCloud is ready to welcome you. Plan you trip to McCloud using the McCloud Chamber of Commerce web site (www. mccloudchamber.com) or contact one of our friendly businesses. Time you trip to enjoy local events, such as the 66th Annual McCloud Lumberjack Fiesta (July 26 – 28, 2013) or the McCloud Bike-toberfest (October 12, 2013), or decide on a quiet get-away – just check the Chamber’s online calendar. The site also features maps of the surrounding Forest Service lands, directions to nearby attractions, and will help you choose a place to stay.
Experience historic McCloud; you’ll return again and again..