And the best news is that it is accessible to the disabled, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
NEVADA CITY – The trail is smooth and flat, absent of roots and rocks, its hard-packed dirt only slightly dusty and lined with decaying leaves. You wouldn’t call it manicured, nothing that artificial, just well-maintained and easily navigable.
Is it any wonder, then, why they call this the Independence Trail?
Such a surface in a wild and scenic setting north of Nevada City invites people of all abilities, especially those who navigate via wheelchair, to enjoy traversing the great outdoors free of obstacles and limitations.
Ambulatory or not, nature lovers can breathe in the cedar and ponderosa pine, ogle the twisted madrone and live oak, drink in the views of the South Yuba River, experience history by trekking across the wooden platforms for flumes that, back in the mid-1800s, served as the Excelsior Ditch, which transported water 25 miles to hydraulic monitors in Smartsville.
The Independence Trail is not the only universally accessible trail in Northern California – in recent years, state parks and trail builders have made that a priority – but it holds the distinction of being one of the first wheelchair-friendly paths, one specifically designed with that intention.
Credit the late John Olmsted. A naturalist in the mold of John Muir (he even sort of resembled him, beard and all), Olmsted bought the land decades ago, put it in a trust and eventually headed the effort to transform it.