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West Side Railroad Trail to the Tuolumne North Fork

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(163)
Stanislaus National Forest
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West Side Railroad Trail to the Tuolumne North Fork is a 10.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tuolumne, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.5 mi Elevation gain 1,181 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Running

Rails trails

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (0)

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (163)
Photos (154)
Recordings (121)
Completed (255)
Chris Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

The West Side Rails Trail was a beautiful and pleasant 11-mile walk along an abandon railroad, which was sprinkled with patches of wildflowers. Wished we were there a month ago when the lupin bushes were in full bloom. What a sight that would have been. However, the California buckeyes were in full bloom and their sweet scent filled the cool mountain air and relaxed the mind. What a treat! The River Ranch campground at the end of the trail was a nice spot to have lunch and enjoy the Tuolumne River. We would definitely visit this hidden gem again next year.

R Chance
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Super accessible. Well marked. Small parking lot at trailhead. Partially shaded. Not crowded. Great views. You follow the old tracks for most of the hike, which is cool.

View R's Recording
Kylin Zhuo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 24 2020
Hiking

Nice and sweet trail probably during the first 2-3 miles, then the trail became narrow and can be annoyed by the grasses and bugs.

View Kylin's Recording
cristine mcguire
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
Hiking

the trail was very flat and easy to walk with some beautiful views. it's a nice walk for anyone wanting to take an easy scroll, and you can bring your dog. saw a post saying riverside .8 miles decided to take it, it came to the road crossed it and came to a very beautiful river that you can see from your walk. the hike back up was a bit steep nothing too bad.

Alexandra Deahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

Easy flat terrain with excellent view of the Tuolumne River below. Lots of wildflowers and butterflies along the old tracks.

Derek Graff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous views! Very flat and easily walkable!

Jane Cluff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

One hour and fifteen minutes from Turlock and so good for the soul. We hiked about 4 miles in on Sunday. Partly overcast skies and cool weather made it lovely; I'm guessing the partly shaded trail can feel very hot in warmer weather. Lots of wild flowers. People were thoughtful about social distancing. We'll be back!

Christine Shipman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking

Easy rated trail with a moderate side trail down to river. Scattered wild flowers along the well groomed trail (watch out for patches of poison oak!), partially shaded with few benches along trail. We did the walk at the end of May, 70 degrees with some overcast. Can’t wait to come back and observe the wildflowers in their prime (April/May). Lovely day! Take the side trail down to the water!

View Christine's Recording
TODD ARMSTRONG
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 22 2020
Hiking

Good hike along the old lumber railway. Nice views.

View TODD's Recording
Matt Rosenberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 22 2020
Hiking

Should be rated “easy,” there is very little terrain change. Rail buffs will love the abandoned rails and ties. A great nearly-flat hike in and out however there’s no real “destination.”

casey grant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu May 21 2020

Great little walk. beautiful out, but watch for the poison ivy.

Jennie Wren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 09 2020
HikingBugsNo shade
View Jennie's Recording
Ana Shawgo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 03 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Fun for the whole family. Beautiful scenery and the weather was amazing when we went.

Jessica Pittman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 03 2020
Hiking

This is a beautiful flat hike. You are able to hike down to the river at the end which makes it 11-12 miles round trip. Lots of poison oak. Picnic tables less then a mile in for lunch.

Melissa Hendrix
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Mar 03 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

unfortunately my husband and our dog got ticks on them, look alive and check yourself! this was my first day hike/nature walk of this length before. It's a perfect outing for a beginner. I would recommend this hike for early spring, definitely not summer.

Erin Nanik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 01 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

lots of ticks out there! inkept bringing them off the dogs and my boyfriend's legs. and just so you know, if you stay on the main trail, my watch said it was 5.6 to the river at hacienda. I think Alltrails is a little off. super easy trail. you can tell when you hit the less trafficed part. it was warm on this last day of February. in the sun a lot. the climb is super gradual, except a little switch back down to the river. on the way back in the afternoon some of the local more interesting characters were on the trail.

Frans Vegter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Feb 19 2020
Walking

Very nice and easy trail. Seems to be a favorite for dog owners, not all of whom keep theirs on a leash or know that their dog might lunge at strangers. My wife was bitten there a year ago and a friend’s little dog was attacked and needed stitches just recently.

View Frans's Recording
Ken Steele
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Feb 11 2020
Hiking

This is a great trail. The elevation gain is not nearly as much as in the trail description-more like 300 than 1000 feet. Good surface and interpretive signs. Gentle grades - it was a RR. Water fountain near the beginning, but no restrooms. You will be walking on a trail notched into a mountain side. Probably very sunny and hot in summer; was very pleasant in February, probably more scenic in spring. A great trail to learn about early logging railroads.

View Ken's Recording
T.J. Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 27 2020
Nature tripsRocky

More of a nature walk instead of a hike. Beautiful scenery and plenty of history to take in. Great for a family outing. Be cautious of tripping hazards and mountain bikers. Fallen rocks and shrubs litter the trail, and some areas of the rail road are falling apart. Definitely watch where you are walking. There are signs that run the length of the railroad that teach you about the history, which is neat.

Phillip Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Nov 20 2019
WalkingOver grown

An excellent "hike" more like a walk, no serious inclines or drops, some minor over-grown parts but 95% EASY, the hardest part was about half way back it got dark and had to walk the rest of the way with flashlights, but that was my fault for starting at 1pm! only saw 2 other people. Lots of rails are still intact and the scenery was great! highly recomend for kids, dogs, biking or horseback. loved it!

Kelly Nowlin Dobson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 17 2019
HikingBugs

Nice long trail. End is anticlimactic but had fun. Took two pups and it was easy for them. Definitely don’t need gps well labeled as you go.

View Kelly's Recording
David Page
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 16 2019
Hiking

Medium trail. Nicely kept clear of overgrowth. Would do it again

View David's Recording
Liz M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 05 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

No bathrooms for MILES before the trail so stop on your way. Lots of overgrown brush, much of it thorny.

View Liz's Recording
Shari Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 06 2019
Hiking

Great trail, lots of history, but not much shade, so plan ahead for that. Easy to follow, make sure to go down to the river when the trail seems to end , worth it. Strava had me at 12.18 miles all told. Good hike. Beauty at every turn.

Suzy W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat May 11 2019
HikingNo shade

Hot, limited shade. Definitely more easy than it is moderate..elevation was closer to 400 than 1K. Saw many groups within 1-2 miles of start, but no one past that, even on our way back.

View Suzy's Recording
Barbara Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 11 2019

This was our first time on West Side Rail Trails. We walked about 3.5 miles when we decided to turn around. It is such an easy trail with so many breath taking pictures that we didn't even realize how far we had walked. Next time, we'll keep walking to hopefully find the end lol. It was a beautiful, calm, clear trail.

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