West Side Railroad Trail to the Tuolumne North Fork

MODERATE 49 reviews

West Side Railroad Trail to the Tuolumne North Fork is a 10.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tuolumne, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from January until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1059 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

rails trails

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

over grown

This is a perfect hike geared towards anyone in any skill level. You casually stroll along a flat surface winding around the mountainside wandering the same trail that years ago had rails used for logging until the trail became to narrow for a train. Most of the rails are pulled up so even biking is possible. Keep in mind there are occasional ruts though. Butterflies and picturesque views afford anyone a good time. You can have dogs on the trail with you.

4 days ago

Love it on my bike!

hiking
18 days ago

Some nice views and very well marked trail but the trail got a little boring after awhile. It is very flat and anyone in reasonably good shape can do it. The trail ends abruptly with no major payout at the end which was a bummer. There are also lots of ticks so bug spray is a must and be carried you bring your furry friends.

hiking
6 months ago

Good place with a pretty view of the canyon. I use this trail to run for it's pretty flat and not super busy. Easy to find and always has parking.

hiking
7 months ago

Very cool hidden gem. I went at 7:15 am on a very hot June day with my 2 year old Pit. We did 3.5 miles round trip. Very cool to walk along the old railroad tracks. Nice picnic tables along the way.

hiking
7 months ago

Easily found trail and really doable for all ages. My 11 year old and I did just about 3 miles in and then back. Positives - mild terrain, a couple of shaded picnic benches along the way, pretty views of mountains and mostly clear trail. Not so positive - not much shade on a hot day (best in cooler weather - we baked as there wasn't much shade at all), other than the mountains it's a little boring this time of year (probably much prettier in early spring), fairly overgrown just after 3 miles in (was worried about snakes this time of year so we turned back - saw one rattlesnake about 2 miles in, it was on its way into the brush...). Might do it again in cooler weather since it's not far. Several others out there today but definitely not crowded.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail, did a little over two miles in then back with family. Mostly flat, easy trail. Awesome views overlooking river, lots of flowers to see and picnic benches along the way to enjoy scenic spots.

Loved it!! Lived here for many years and never knew about this trail!! Was awesome and the flowers and scenery are beautiful!!

walking
8 months ago

Great views and the wildflowers were amazing. Will be back :)

walking
8 months ago

Was looking for a trail do you post op. Very flat but with amazing views. Picnic tables dotted throughout the trail. Even posts about the history. Today we charted 13 different wild flowers that were in bloom. The bush lupine is amazing right now. Definitely keeping this as I go to.

hiking
9 months ago

Stunning scenery, cool old railroad tracks...very pup-friendly trail!!

walking
9 months ago

Started out at 10:00 am this morning and hiked to mile marker 6/1. We crossed a couple of streams along the way and saw many wildflowers in bloom. On our last mile back we did come across a 4ft rattlesnake on the trail. He was not aggressive nor did he "rattle" but do be aware they are around.

walking
9 months ago

Great trail for any age
Beautiful scenery of wild flowers
And close to home

hiking
10 months ago

One of my favorite trails. Super easy trail and amazing views!

10 months ago

Nice easy trail

mountain biking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

Easy to find and easy to ride. Trail head is well marked with a big, rustic sign. The physical start is at the junction of Mira Monte and Buchanan roads.

Just poke in 19321 Mira Monte Road in your GPS. It starts out more like a ditch then after 50 yards or so, turns into the trail one would expect.

As other reviewers stated, first half is good enough for anyone and includes informative signs including some well placed, shaded, picnic benches overlooking the canyon below. After that, it becomes more like a single track with rocks and overgrowth.

At mile 4.5, when you reach what looks impassable, walk and follow the path then continue for a short distance to the end where you should find an old turnstile. That's the rail bed and trail end.

It's simply amazing how the old timers carved out the railways into the sides of these extremely steep, near impassable mountains.

mountain biking
Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Mountain Biked on Aug. 3, 2016. Overall was a fun trail. Very convenient parking and easy to find trail head. The trail was nice and smoothe with minor to no technicalities to figure out. Well kept trail for about the first half, then gets very overgrown - shoulder high at some parts. Few minor scratches on hands and shins that gloves / long sleeves and longer socks could have prevented. There's a point where the trail is so overgrown that it becomes unrideable. If you don't see what I'm talking about, the thorny blackberry bushes will tell you real quick. The downhill is fun - can go pretty quickly and whip through the brush. The uphill is such a low grade you can hardly tell you're going uphill. I'll definitely do it again, but next time will be a bit more covered up and will definitely stop *before* the blackberry bushes, not in them.

hiking
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The hubby and I took off allowing ourselves 1.5 hours to get as far as we could at a fast walk. We made it to the 3280 point on the map, nearly 4.5 miles. Turned around and walked/jogged back to the car. The trail is easy terrain, tons of beautiful views and wildflowers all along the way. At about the 2.5 mile mark, the path is narrow and very overgrown. Wear long pants and good shoes (my gym shoes were full of foxtails). We will definitely do it again, next time allowing us more time to make it to the river.

walking
Thursday, April 07, 2016

First off the trail is not on Mira Monte Rd. Stay on Buchanan and the trail starts in the ditch. There are stairs with railing to insure it's the trail. I went on this trail with my parents and small child. I chose this trail because of the "easy" description and wheelchair friendly. My parents enjoyed the small incline. I thought it was a great trail for strollers, but be sure to bring the better stroller. There are some rougher areas. The scenery was beautiful. You have the hills and the river insight. I also enjoyed the old railroad along the trail. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
Thursday, December 24, 2015

My mom, dad, and I love this trail. It is very fun and peaceful, and is one of our favorites for exploring plants and wildlife. I highly recommend families to take their little one's to explore what this trail has to offer and to instill in them a love of nature. In town, there is also a nice cafe with excellent coffee and snacks.

hiking
Friday, July 10, 2015

Easy out and back trail with a very slight grade and signs along the way to inform you of the history of the local timber business. Decent views, but nothing spectacular. Occasional shade, but not a ton. Worth it if you really want to get out on a trail near Tuolumne, but not worth driving any distance to get too. You can take dogs and overall the trail is smooth an flat, so that's a plus for some.

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