South Yuba Trail is a 40 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, CA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Nevada City: Travel west on Hwy. #49 and turn right onto North Bloomfield Road. Travel north to Edwards Crossing. Drive north on e mile to the South Yuba Campground.
Started at Purdon Crossing hiked through to Illinois Crossing primitive campsite for the night. Hiked back towards Purdon and stayed at Emerald Pool. Encountered gold miners, poison oak, and beautiful views. Lots of wildflowers. Amazing trail.
Actually the trail continues past Edwards crossing up to Washington,with spur trails coming in from the malikoff diggings area. Beautiful trail will easy access all year. I remember backpacking into this area in the winter back in high school and only meeting miners coming out for supplies. It is a pretty popular MTB trail now.
To continue the hike that the other reviewer describes below, just continue through the campground at Edwards Crossing. There is a very well maintained trail from there.
Oh, lots of poison oak as would be expected at this altitude and environment but it is probably not much of an issue unless you dump your mountain bike into it.
Despite the fact that I go to the South Yuba River frequently in the summer, I'm still not really sure about the endpoints of this trail. I think the most popular part of the trail is between the Purdon Bridge (which I THINK is the SW endpoint) and Edwards Crossing on North Bloomfield Rd.
I've walked this part of the trail probably a dozen times. It's about 4.5 miles and by no means difficult. Some of it offers views of the river from high up on the rocky walls, and other parts are deeper in the wooded valleys of the creeks that feed into the river.
Both of these places offer great swimming in the summer. A couple years ago I swam/floated the whole 4.5 miles downstream and then hiked the trail back up in my Keens! Fun day.
NW of Edwards crossing is where I get confused. Crossing the bridge, there are more trails that run along the river but none of these are developed and marked like the previously mentioned section.
It may be that the trail follows N Bloomfield for a few miles up to the campground.
I'd love to see a diagram of this whole trail.