The construction of the Independence Trail-West transformed the historic Excelsior Ditch, a Gold Rush era water conveyance canal, into one of the most popular trails in the area. The trail follows the contours along wooded hillsides, passing live streams, and crossing deep gorges on restored wooden flumes that once transported water for hydraulic mining. The trail features gorgeous views of Rush Creek within the South Yuba River watershed, including salamander viewing areas. A complex wooden ramp structure leads down to a picnic and viewing level that overlooks a small waterfall, and continues down to the creek for close-up viewing.
The trail is rated as an easy, five-mile, in-and-out hike, at an elevation of 1,500 feet and through a mixed oak and conifer forest. This will be a perfect hike for a fall outing, with black oak trees showing off their autumn yellow foliage.
The Woodland Outdoor Wanderers is a community-based organization open to all, and dedicated to introducing Yoloans to their natural and cultural environments, and to each other. Visit www.woodlandoutdoorwanderers.org
for information on future hikes.
For more information about WOW or the hike, contact Ken Trott at (530) 867-3130.