Bay Area travel writer Susan Alcorn published another article about her recent trip to Nevada County that is published on Examiner.com:
“On a recent trip to the gold country, we “leaf peekers” hoped to see Nevada City at the height of its fall color. Nature being what she is, we were early in the season, but nevertheless, we found much to photograph and to do in this charming small city and the surrounding area. Nevada City has a population of only 3,068, but it’s the county seat of Nevada County. Its downtown, with 93 buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s easy to take a walking tour to see the many fine brick storefronts in its downtown and the stately Victorian homes close by. (Click here for a map)
“One of the most popular old buildings is the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, which was built in 1856. The foundry was the first manufacturing location of the Pelton wheel. The Pelton wheel, invented by Lester Pelton in 1879, was a major breakthrough in mining operations. Basically, the turbine collected and transformed the energy of flowing water much more efficiently than waterwheels had previously. The Pelton wheel is still widely used for many applications today.
“The Miners Foundry now operates as a community and performing arts center hosting hundreds of activities yearly including stage and musical productions, receptions, and dances. Inside the foundry, you can find a printed, self-guided tour of the many historic artifacts in the building. Nevada City also hosts many popular tourist attractions. In January, the “Wild & Scenic Film Festival,” focusing on environmental issues, outdoor adventure and extreme sports is held. In June (usually on Father’s Day Weekend) the Nevada City Classic, a challenging professional cycling race, is held. Lance Armstrong was the winner in 2009.
“In addition to the Nevada City walking tour, there are many other places to hike. The South Yuba River State Park (details in previous articles, see links below) is great for hiking year round.
“In addition, there is the Independence Trail. The Bear Yuba Land Trust’s website reads, “This trail, founded by the late John Olmsted, transformed an historic gold mining ditch into the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. It is now one of the most popular trails in the area, contouring along wooded hillsides, passing live streams, and crossing deep gorges on restored wooden flumes that once transported water for hydraulic mining. The trail has two separate sections (West and East) that extend from one main trailhead on Hwy 49. Independence Trail West is oriented for most of its length around the canyon of Rush Creek, a large tributary stream that enters the South Yuba River at Jones Bar. The West trail features several wooden flumes, a large covered viewpoint, picnic tables and benches. Flume 28, over 500′ in length, crosses above a waterfall on Rush Creek 1.1 miles west of the trailhead. It is a “must see” piece of mining history.”
“While you are in the region, plan to visit the fascinating Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. The park is the site of world’s largest hydraulic gold mine. Miners in the 1850-1880s, forced water through hoses and nozzles under high pressure to blast and wash the gold out of the mountainsides. Malakoff Diggins “devastated the pristine landscape leading to the first environmental law enacted in the nation.” In the park are more than 30 miles of hiking trails as well as camping and miners’ cabins (open seasonally), fishing, and Gold Rush-era buildings.”
To read the full article, including hiking opportunities, click here.
(Source: Susan Alcorn, Examiner.com)