Independence Trail

After moving to Grass Valley in 2016, I soon discovered a really special hiking trail about 10 minutes outside of downtown Nevada City called Independence trail.  This happens to be the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. The trail is broken down into two different trails, East and West

 This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

The trails are a combination of wooden boardwalks like the one above and dirt trails. All of the trails are mostly flat, although they can get muddy during the winter.  The trail also has an ok sized parking lot and bathrooms. I have heard of cars being broken into, so hide your stuff. 

 This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

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If you go West (right turn from entrance), you can walk just over a mile to one of the coolest boardwalks I have crossed.

 A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

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The real prize on this hike is the not just the handful of small waterfalls, but the impressive switchback ramp designed to allow wheelchairs to reach the water below.  Unfortunately age has damaged the ramps and it is closed.  The current plan is to get an engineering study completed and make major repairs. The restoration costs are around $750,000.

 At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

 A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area. 

A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area.