Located just over six miles from downtown Nevada City, the forested Independence Trail founded by Naturalist John Olmsted was the first wheelchair accessible wilderness trail in the country.
The trail utilizes the old Excelsior Ditch, built around 1859 to carry water for hydraulic mining. Because of the easy, level grade, this is a good walking trail for families and folks with limited mobility. Depending on the route you take – east or west – this shaded trail is known for its mixed conifer and hardwood forest, old wooden flumes, dramatic views of Rush Creek, occasional views of the South Yuba River canyon and rugged challenging scrambles to river swim holes.
Visit Bear Yuba Land Trust’s online Trails Portal for maps, detailed descriptions and directions to trailheads: http://www.bylt.org/trail/independence-trail-west/