Photos byMichael Starghill Jr.
The bridge sits next to Turtle Bay
Exploration Park, a 300-acre complex
dedicated to discovering the river’s rich
history and featuring a museum, aquarium,
arboretum and botanical gardens. The
bridge, park and Redding’s vast network of
trails—built in phases over the past three
decades—have helped this once-thriving
rail hub restore its identity. What were once
neglected railbeds and trash-strewn mining
roads have been transformed into world-
class trails where Olympic athletes train and
locals come to spend time outdoors.
Our citizens here are as proud of the
trails as they are of anything,” says Mike
Warren, a former Redding city manager
he Sundial Bridge
peeks out from a tall canopy
of cottonwood trees as I approach Redding, Calif.,
on state Highway 44. It looks like an enormous
white harp, or an egret. Designed by Spanish
architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the
eight-year-old bridge radiates over the lush
green landscape, linking both sides of the Upper
Sacramento River where it makes a wide turn
at Turtle Bay. Unlike some of the region’s other
manmade marvels, the bridge doesn’t touch the
waterway or its precious runs of salmon and steel-
head. The tall pylon is the world’s largest sundial
and doubles as a support column for the steel
cables that suspend the 700-foot structure over
the frigid waters of the “Upper Sac.”
By Bryan Goebel