In a joint effort, California State Parks and Recreation and the non-profit Sequoya Challenge maintain the Independence Trail, which totals over 4 miles of wheelchair accessible pathways that skirt waterfalls, cliffs, and views of the South Yuba River.
This mapped route follows a half-mile section of wheelchair accessible trail and tacks on another mile (one-way) of hiking trail for a slightly longer, yet still easy-to-access hike. Begin by following the 5-foot-wide channel east from the Independence Trailhead (its main access point along CA 49). Within 0.3 mile, you’ll cross the first of 3 bridges on this section of the trail and pass through a rock arch, tracing the contours of the rugged hillside. The trail remains level as it passes a river overlook and continues east toward the end of the wheelchair accessible segment. From here, continue on a narrower and slightly more rugged trail to a picnic area and small pool on a tributary above the Yuba River.
Note: If you’re looking to add miles to this route, consider adding another out-and-back section on the West Independence Trail from the trailhead, or continuing north on the East Independence Trail which drops down to the river before joining the river to head downstream to the trailhead.
MORE INFO: Independence Trail
-Mapped by Melissa Stolasz