For an enjoyable easy to moderate scenic river walk above the South Yuba River, visit Hoyt Trail located about 6.9 miles northwest of Nevada City.
This trail leads to swimming holes along the South Yuba River and the historic Hoyt Crossing. Southern exposure means warmth on cool days on this trail a mix of live oak woodland, chaparral and occasional conifers. An optional extension up the old Hoyt Crossing Road makes for a vigorous 4.5 mile in-and-out hike.
Hoyt Crossing Road was an early road connecting Nevada City with the gold fields of Columbia and the North San Juan area. The road crossed the South Yuba at Hoyt Crossing via a toll bridge operated by Moses Hoyt, the first mayor of Nevada City.
A local favorite, with river views along much of the trail’s length, historians will find interesting the Miner’s Tunnel outlet across the river about 0.35 miles from the trailhead.
The semi-shaded trail crosses seasonal streams with riparian species such as western spicebush, whose burgundy flowers smell like red wine. A number of short unmaintained side trails lead down to the river.
Visit Bear Yuba Land Trust’s online Trails Portal for maps, detailed descriptions and directions to trailheads: http://www.bylt.org/trail/hoyt-trail/