Looking for a great trail near Nevada City, California? AllTrails has 26 great hiking trails, mountain biking trails, trail running trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Auburn State Recreation Area or Spenceville Wildlife Area, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Pioneer Park. Ready for some activity? There are 16 moderate trails in Nevada City ranging from 1.1 to 19.8 miles and from 1,246 to 7,582 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!





nature trips

dogs on leash


bird watching

kid friendly

wild flowers


mountain biking




trail running

dog friendly

horseback riding

Nevada City, California Map
over grown
20 days ago

The trail is ‘temporarily’ closed since there are a few trees down but otherwise it is a lovely level stroll along the old Miner’s ditch. Shaded on a winter afternoon with lovely glimpses down to the South Yuba River and across the valley. Peaceful and good trail to take a picnic!

Great hike, pretty easy to follow signage. Liked how there are lots of loops, and splits throughout the beginning.

bridge out
22 days ago

This is a very relaxing and scenic stroll. This walking trail attracts many happy families and folks with their dogs. There is a large canopy that provides a lot of shade for those especially hot months. The path is large enough to accommodate people coming and going. The path is also very flat and fairly straight.

Loved this one! We looped with the Jones Bar trail and it was a blast. Not very kid friendly over on the Jones bar part because of steep terrain but still a good trail to hike.

Awesome family hike and very flat. Little chilly as most of the trail is shaded.

Great easy hike with some really nice views.

Forested, shady, level and incredible views. We took this hike this year around Christmas. The trees were damp with dew, and the sun was peeking through the fog, highlighting the South Yuba River Canyon. The forest is a mixture of Ponderosa, Digger, and other conifers, along with California Oak, Madrone and Manzanita. The best part of this trail is the bridges. The wooden walkways provide good photo spots and break up the trail length. Don’t be fooled by the mountainous topography. This trail is almost 100% level. Flat. In fact, we heard it was one of the first wheelchair accessible dirt trails constructed in the USA back in the 70s. It follows an irrigation ditch built by the Chinese in the 1800s. Now used as a hiking path. At times, we switched from the top to the bottom of the ditch. Consider the unique canyon boardwalk as the destination. Making it about an hour round-trip walk. Great for groups, or anyone looking for a level start. Bring high-soled shoes and trekking poles if you plan to hike in the winter, as the ditch can be muddy in some spots.
- Mike and Angel Cutler, EarthTrek Gear

nice trail to many mountain bikers to bave a nice hike more af a mountain bike tral

Great hike in the fall. The only strenuous part is coming up the hill from Jones Bar. The independence part of the trail is very easy and pretty.

Nice, fun trail. It took hardly any time to get down to the river. A little longer coming up but overall a pretty easy hike. Overlook point is beautiful!

mountain biking
3 months ago

Great trail!

Gorgeous! Great hike with 2 bridges

*gravel road up to trailhead is a slow go, wash boards and rocky rocky.
*beautiful wonderful marvelous scenic easy short hike with lakes and forest.
*went in early November, so the crowds of summer are absent....
*lots of gorgeous other hiking in the area around here to explore.
*definately will come back here to explore some more.

Beautiful trail

mountain biking
3 months ago

Fun little ride.

nice relaxing trail. I love going in the fall with the amazing color changes of the trees and salamanders every where.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Fun little trail for the family. My 7yo daughter made it on her 16” Barbie bike. Down side were all the people who refuse to leash their dogs. Next time I’m going to hit the little bastard and see how my rockshox suck up a cockapoo instead of crashing to avoid hurting it.

Wonderful trail!

3 months ago

Went here for a hike with my boyfriend and he proposed to me at the end of the hike at glacier lake! Couldn’t have been better! Trail itself was maintained good, mostly dirt, sand, some granite but not as much as we expected. Passed a lot of beautiful lakes along the way. Saw zero people on way up and only a few at the end. We went on a Friday morning though so likely more populated summer / weekends. Brought our dog. Off leash no problem ! Lots of squirrels and chipmunks. Beautiful lakes, good tree coverage, fall colors, scenic overlook. Was not a difficult hike at all. Very gradual inclines. Hadn’t been hiking once this year but have done multiple backpacking trips in our past. This was a perfect gradual reintroduction to getting back in nature. Lots of camping spots.

We took a 2001 Camry down the road, made it the whole way. Definitely would have been easier in a 4 wheel drive car or a car with higher clearance. Wouldn’t recommend taking a little car. The road was ok but the very end had a huge drop off ditch that was tricky to navigate. But we managed ! If it was rainy or had been a wet season the road would have been a lot worse.

I really enjoyed this hike! Ground was level and beautiful views and ran into some salamanders on the trail. Will definitely do it again!

3 months ago

Took the trail to the falls then detoured up a lot of rocks to the top of the falls back down and to the lake. Simply beautiful.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Beautiful single track. I am not an experienced mountain biker but enjoyed the ride. A few spots are very narrow with a steep hill facing down but I managed.

Great easy trail! Was shaded most of the way, and very flat. It was cool to walk along the canal the whole time. My dog loved jumping in and out of the water. Not too much foot traffic for a weekend, but ran into a few people. Parked at what I think is the middle of the trail, on the shoulder of Red Dog Rd. Was told you could also park at the other end of the trail, may have to check that out next time. Would definitely go to this trail again.

This is a great little area for a quiet relaxing walk in the woods. Even in October there was water running in the creek, and it was cooler than in the surrounding area.

Getting there: Look for Conservation road, and follow the signs. GPS was not helpful in finding the trailhead, but the signs were fine from Conservation road.

This trail is one of the best I’ve been to. I’m a beginner hiker and went with an experienced hiker who had done the trail once before. It’s not marked in certain spots so it’s good to go with someone you know. Making it to Penner Lake, starting at Carr Lake took us about 5 hours to complete walking at normal pace and only stopping to take in the view and having lunch once we got to Penner. I’d rate the terrain as medium with mild inclines once you get closer to Penner it gets a little steep, but nothing too bad. It’s a great hike in October! Not a lot of people on Monday (Columbus Day!) but we were glad to find a hunter on the trail and about three other small groups of hikers. One thing I learned here is you can hike, backpack in and camp, camp at the campgrounds, bring a pet, come for the day or the night, it will not disappoint. Every single step provides a new scene and a new Lake to see. Breathtaking views. And it didn’t cost us anything but fuel and the food we brought for snacks and lunch. I can’t wait to come back and camp here. We did the entire 6 miles in one afternoon and we’re pretty tired by the time we reached the parking lot. Stopped in Grass-valley at Big A’s for early dinner-perfect ending for a perfect day hike trip!

4 months ago

Went backpacking down this trail this past weekend. It was mostly in the shade and when we started it was around 60 degrees (10/6/2018). The hike down is downhill the entire way...which means the hike up is uphill the entire way (keep in mind if you are backpacking). We made it down to the river but couldn't find the trail the leads across the river. We decided to camp at one of the primitive campsites near the river and head back up the next morning. During the summertime I could imagine this part of the river would be excellent to swim in. Deep clear water (we did not see/catch any fish).

PS. To get to the trailhead follow directions to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (on their website) Google maps will try to lead you down a gravel road that has a lot of holes/bumps. Once you go through North Bloomfield you will see signs for the trailhead. It is located down a pretty rough gravel road so if you don't think you can make it, park before the bad part of the road and walk in (probably .2 to get to the trailhead if you cant make it past the rough part)

Trail head is almost impossible to find. I had to ask several locals along the way exactly how to find it. The trail isn't marked very well at the forks so it's easy to take the wrong path. I wouldn't really call this a trail since it forces you to go through downtown Nevada City, then walk on a paved residential street for about a mile, then along a crushed rock road for another mile just to get to a path running along an NID ditch. At the last 2 miles there weren't many trees so I would never do this one again in hot weather. If you just want a walk down to the creek(which is nice) then this might be an option. If you want an 8 mile hike this isn't a very good trail for that.

This is a great trail, but as mentioned previously, it's getting too popular and not as secluded. Hard to find camp spots at Penner as there really is only one side that is flat enough for camping. But it's still one of my favorites! Just a little harder on the climb towards the end, but nothing too too strenuous.

The trail itself is beautiful, and though I would not describe the views as spectacular, the jaunt itself is pleasant and relaxing. I took the trail from the (very low) underpass to the right of the trailhead sign all the way to it's finish at the fire road (there is an end of trail marker there to let you know). A little anticlimactic since there was no sweeping view at the end. When I do it again, i will likely stop at the picnic tables located after the bridge. Great place to snack and recharge before heading back.

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