2017-2018 Nevada County Gold Magazine 2017-2018_Nevada County Gold Magazine - Page 57

HWY 20 to I-80 WASHINGTON, TRAILS, LAKES, GROUSE RIDGE S C E N I C This historic and scenic route follows an emigrant trail past such sites as the Lone Grave which has become a memorial to pioneers who died along the way. It winds its way through forests and the Bear Valley – a welcome sight to emigrants in the 1850s. It is the gateway to a variety of outdoor activities. All included sites are on roads off Hwy. 20. Nestled in a canyon 20 miles from Nevada City, Washington appears to be a mining town that time forgot. Occupied since 1849, it once had several thousand residents. Today, visitors to the area are attracted by recreational opportunities like the Golden Quartz Picnic Area on the South Fork of the Yuba River five miles upstream from town on a rough road. This is a good swimming area for kids. Must Do! Scenic Overlooks Coming from Nevada City and just before the turnoff to the town of Washington is a popular scenic over- look. Another 4 miles toward I-80 is the Alpha Omega Rest Area which also has an overlook. Steephollow Recreation Area Area extends from the Alpha Omega Rest Area to Lake Spaulding Overlook. Steephollow Plantation Trail is a 0.6 mile interpretive trail. View one of largest hydraulic mining operations in the Sierra. Nordic Ski Area, trailheads at rest area. Trail PIONEER TRAIL: A 25 mile trail suitable for equestrians, hikers, joggers and mountain bicyclists. The west end is easy, east end is difficult. From Nevada City, the closest trail- head is at Harmony Ridge Market, and another is 2 miles further at Lone Grave. Washington Lakes SCOTT’S FLAT: Day use, playground, swim- ming, picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, boat rentals, store, camping. Take Scott’s Flat Road, five miles from Nevada City. Info: (530) 265-8861. scottsflatlake.net SPAULDING: Fishing, boating, swimming, camping. Large reservoir generates hydroelec- tric power and is owned and operated by PG&E. Near I-80, turn on Lake Spaulding Road off Hwy. 20 and go a half mile. Grouse Ridge/ Lakes Area Trails and picturesque lakes, camping sites, picnicking, fishing. Take a short hike or stay for days. Lakes include Lindsey, Carr, Island, Penner, Sawmill and Faucherie. Trails include Lindsey Lakes, Round Lake, Crooked Lakes, French Lake and Grouse Ridge. For a taste of the area, pack a picnic and head for Fuller Lake. Good fishing for kids and easy access from Bowman Lake Road. Much of area accessed by dirt roads off Bowman Lake Road, 22 miles from Nevada City, 4 miles from I-80 via Hwy. 20. INFORMATION: Maps and material at Tahoe National Forest Headquarters (closed week- ends), 631 Coyote St., off Hwy. 49 outside Nevada City. (530) 265-4531; fs.usda.gov/tahoe More Trails Pages 88 & 89 The Little Town of Washington R O U T E Grouse Ridge Kid Friendly ROCK CREEK: Less than 1 mile loop interpretive trail through forest, includes picnic area. From Nevada City go 6 miles on Hwy. 20, turn left at Washington Ridge Conservation Camp, continue 1 mile to another trail sign. Turn left on gravel road, continue 1.2 miles to parking. SIERRA DISCOVERY TRAIL: A PG&E project, this less than 1 mile loop takes you through a variety of habitats and along the Bear River. Interpretive signs, waterfall, picnic area, BBQ’s. Take Bowman Lake Road. N E VA D A C O U N T Y G O L D . c o m 57