Get outdoors this Fall |

Get outdoors this Fall

Folk Trails Hiking Club will lead a walk through historic Nevada City and outlying neighborhoods on Oct. 12. The hike departs from Inn Town Campground at 4 p.m. Learn more:
Photo by Kial James Photography |

Fall is here.

Time to take that last dip in the South Yuba River, go for a fall color walk downtown or venture into the high country for a hike before winter snows arrive.

Cooler temperatures and brilliant botanical hues bring many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the natural world this season.

“With each season, a trail will reveal something new and exciting to the hiker,” said Jesse Locks, Founder of Folk Trails Hiking Club. “It can be something as obvious as the change in the color of the flora, or something subtle, like the difference in the light through the trees onto the trail.

“It’s to the hiker’s advantage to take the time and revisit some of the hikes we may have done in the spring or summer, and see what fall has to reveal. And of course there are always those trails, that shine the brightest in the fall.”

Check out these October offerings by local hiking and environmental groups:

Hirschman’s Pond Stewardship Day

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The City of Nevada City and Sierra Streams Institute will host a Hirschman’s Pond Stewardship Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Participants will move branches and mulch to stabilize slopes and cover bare soils, build habitat brush piles, and prepare areas for fall planting.

Bring gloves, water bottle, sun protection and whatever you need to have a comfortable, productive workday. Tools and light snacks will be provided. Meet at the Hirschman trailhead, 115 Cement Hill Road. Parking available across the street at the Nevada County Rood Center.

Questions? Email: Denise@sierrastreamsinstitute

Crows Nest / Rowton Peak Loop with Sierra Club – Sierra Nevada Group

When: Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Distance: 5.1 miles, round trip.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Elevation gain: 1000 ft.

Bag a peak and take in great views of Van Norden Meadow (Summit Meadow). Bring water, lunch, and dress in layers for warmth and wind. Contact hike leader Rick Ramos for information and when and where to meet: 530-615-1802,

Fireside Chat Series: 52 Hike Challenge Social

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Where: Inn Town Campground, 9 Kidder Court, Nevada City.

Cost: $10 Suggested donation.

Learn more:

Share stories of hiking adventures with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Join Folk Trails Hiking Club, Bear Yuba Land Trust and Inn Town Campground for this Fireside Chat and Social celebrating the 52 Hike Challenge — Nevada County.

Since January, the land trust and hiking club have inspired hundreds of locals to take to the trails.

Snacks and beverages provided along with trail maps, merchandise and trekking calendars. This is a great opportunity to pitch a tent or go “glamping” at a reduced price. If not camping, park outside the campground gates and walk in.

Folk Trails Hike

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12

Learn more:

Folk Trails Hiking Club invites history and nature lovers of all-ages for a walk through historic Nevada City and outlying neighborhoods. Participants will learn about the local history and practice plant and tree identification.

The hike begins at the Inn Town Campground. Non-campers should park on New Mohawk Road and walk across the street to the campground.

Bring: water, snacks if needed, proper footwear, dress in layers and a camera to take advantage of “magic hour” light. The hike is free and open to everyone.

Junior Conservationist: Stories in Nature at Hirschman Pond

When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.

Where: Meet at Hirschman Trail parking lot, Cement Hill Road, Nevada City.

Cost: Donations appreciated.

Learn more:

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust at Hirschman Trail on Saturday, Oct. 14, for this fun series just for families called Junior Conservationist: Stories in Nature with Certified California Naturalist Steve Roddy.

This hike heads into an old hydraulic mine diggings where Roddy will lead wildlife observations at the pond. The two-mile trail meanders through oak woodlands, pines and grasslands. A discussion about the impact of hydraulic mining will be followed by stories of the miners.

“We want children and families to become aware of the great number of perfect community trails available for nature exploration. We have had a good turnout for the first treks, but have room for plenty more,” said Roddy.

These outings are designed for children ages 5–12, accompanied with a parent or other caregiver. Bring water, a snack, sun protection and wear sturdy shoes. No dogs please.

Redbud Native Plant Sale

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.

Where: North Star House, 12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley.

Learn more:

Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will offer hand-picked, locally adapted, low-water California native trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, grasses, and seeds from specialty and wholesale growers at this annual plant sale held at the North Star House.

Expert gardeners will be on hand to share information on pollinator-friendly, drought-tolerant, fire-resistant, and lawn-alternative plants. Books will also be for sale. Organizers advise bringing boxes, or a wagon.

Cascade Canal and Orene Wetherall Trail

When: 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15.

Learn more:

Join Trail Adopters Ray Bryars and Joe Abrell for this informative outing along the Cascade Canal and Orene Wetherall Trail.

Located in the heart of Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Woodpecker Preserve, this free community hike will include plant and bird identification. Bring your binoculars and or camera for this easy to moderate enchanting fall walk through the forest.

Mariah Point Trail with Sierra Club – Sierra Nevada Group

When: Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Distance: 5.9 miles round trip.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Elevation gain: 1106 ft.

This is the time of year to take in Aspen color and fall weather on Donner Summit.

Participants will carpool to the trailhead near Serene Lakes and meander thru Aspens before reaching Mariah Pont with great views into the Royal Gorge of the North Fork of the American River.

The 360-degree panorama is stunning. Bring water, lunch, and dress in layers for warmth and wind.

Contact hike leader Rick Ramos for information on where and when to meet: 530-615-1802,

Fall Creek Mountain with Sierra Club — Sierra Nevada Group

When: Saturday, Oct. 21.

Distance: 4 miles.

Elevation gain: 800 feet.

This is an exploratory hike in the area of Island Lake and Carr/ Feeley trailhead in the Grouse Ridge roadless area.

Views of the immediate area are said to provide a great perspective on the surrounding lakes and terrain, along with more distant views from an almost 7,500 foot summit.

Bring water, lunch, good hiking footwear (some off trail scrambling) and dress in layers with the potential for cold fall wind and temperatures. Contact hike leader Richard Thomas: 530-264-6740,

Bridgeport Fall Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22.

Where: South Yuba River State Park — Bridgeport

Cost: Admission free; parking $5

South Yuba River Park Association hosts the Bridgeport Fall Festival on Oct. 22. Get ready for gold panning, basket weaving, wool spinning, hayrides, historic barn tours, live music and the Ghosts of Bridgeport.

Children’s activities include: games, face painting, pumpkin painting and bird feeder making.

Check out more great fall adventures with Outside Inn’s latest Fall blog:

Contact Freelance Writer Laura Petersen at or 913-3067

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