Sugar Pine Railway - Strawberry Branch is a 3.5 mile out and back trail located near Long Barn, California and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This is a beautiful and well maintained trail. Enter 23935 South Fork Road in your GPS. There is a locked pipe-gate that marks the trail head to keep motorized vehicles out with provisions to go around. Owned by Southern Pacific Industries, it is opened to the public. Horses, dogs on leashes, bikes and foot traffic permitted.
Easy 5 mile out and back smooth, flat ride under a mature canopy. Only a few reminders of any railway remain. The Mi-Wuk Ranger Station in Mi-Wuk Village has information and trail guides for on all local trails. For the more adventurous, the trail does eventually continues past Lyons Reservoir to Strawberry known as the Sugar Pine West Side Railway. Google Earth it. I plan on going there next.
There are rest rooms at Lyons Reservoir. The Reservoir, maintained by PG&E, is for drinking water only so no aquatic activity is permitted.
Parking is restricted to the shoulder of the road but given the sparse usage, parking should not be a problem.
Beautiful easy walk. Right next to South Stanislaus river
Great walk not hike. Great views of river. Nothing steep. Watch out for bikes.
I hike this trail often. It's a lovely, shady slight grade up the Stanislaus River. There's frequent water access so you can cool your toes. In the summer, I access from Fraser Flat. Access from Old Strawberry Road in the winter for a beautiful snowshoe trail. This is an easy-to-moderate hike. You will have a very slight grade (former railroad track) up then down (or down then up, depending on your approach). There are no steep climbs whatsoever, though.