Come along, let's hike The South Yuba Independence Trail

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February 12th 2006
Published: February 14th 2006
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Today we hiked the West side of the South Yuba Independence Trail, just North of Nevada City off of Highway 49. The Independence Trail is built on the original water course of the 1856 Excelsior Ditch. This canal carried water from the South Yuba River to the hydraulic gold mines in Smartville about 25 miles away. The Excelsior Ditch is an ingeniously designed and constructed facility made up of a combination of earthen and rock walled ditches and wooden flumes.

Because the Ditch was designed to transport water, its nominal gradient makes it well suited for an easily accessible trail. From the beginning of the Independence Trail in 1978, Sequoya Challenge (a non-profit corporation) has constructed trail and facilities suitable for accommodating individuals with a broad range of physical challenges. In recent years, a partnership between Sequoya Challenge and California State Parks has facilitated preservation of historic resources, expansion of the trail, repair and replacement of worn-out structures, and increasing the level of accessibility of the trail.

While the ultimate goal of extending the trail most of the full length of the original canal is in the distant future, the reality of providing a fully accessible trail with wilderness-like
Down the trail we go...Down the trail we go...Down the trail we go...

it's quiet, peaceful and wheelchair accessible all the way down to the waterfalls and creek 1.2 miles down the trail.
characteristics currently exists.

No visit to Nevada County would be complete without a stop at this wonderful nature spot miles above the majestic South Yuba River.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Trail Information Trail Information
Trail Information

Don't forget to sign the guest register.
Miles below...Miles below...
Miles below...

the majestic South Yuba River. View from the Trail Information Overlook.
Diamondhead OuthouseDiamondhead Outhouse
Diamondhead Outhouse

Good time for a potty break - don't fall in!
All smiles...All smiles...
All smiles...

after a visit to the Diamondhead Outhouse.
Holly at Fern WallHolly at Fern Wall
Holly at Fern Wall

It's about 10 to 15 degrees cooler at this spot on the trail, you can feel the temperature drop as you approach. It feels like an air conditioned room - quite nice really!
Water Flume...Water Flume...
Water Flume...

over dry stream.
Soon we'll be at the creek...Soon we'll be at the creek...
Soon we'll be at the creek...

just down the trail.
We're almost at the creek...We're almost at the creek...
We're almost at the creek...

first we'll have to cross the creek canyon bridge and descend to the creek - wheelchairs welcome, as you'll see.
Waterfall Waterfall

View from waterfall vista point.
Waterfall Vista PointWaterfall Vista Point
Waterfall Vista Point

New addition for better viewing the Falls.
Outhouse #2Outhouse #2
Outhouse #2

Complete with a big roll of acceptable quality paper - we know!
Access to CreekAccess to Creek
Access to Creek

This ramp was constructed to allow access to the creek by all, including the physically challenged - what a great idea.
View of CreekView of Creek
View of Creek

The creek flows down to the South Yuba River, miles below.
Canyon BridgeCanyon Bridge
Canyon Bridge

View from the creek.

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