This land was made for you and me: Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Celebration of Trails Weekend kicks off Thursday | TheUnion.com

This land was made for you and me: Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Celebration of Trails Weekend kicks off Thursday

Laura Petersen
Special to Prospector

Since the late 1960s, local writer, historian and photographer Hank Meals has explored the trails, epic landscapes, stories and people of the South Yuba River watershed. For 25 years, he worked off and on as an archaeologist for the Tahoe National Forest and is the author of several popular hiking guides, "The River: Hiking Trails and History of the South Fork of the Yuba River" and "Yuba Trails 1 and 2."

"In the Yuba watershed we have trails that were used by the indigenous Nisenan, historical trails, recreational trails on public land and land trust trails. They range in elevation from about 800' at the Black Swan trailhead to over 9,000 feet on Mount Lola," said Meals. "By picking up the Pioneer Trail east of Nevada City, you can get to the Spaulding Trail, then to the Beyers Lakes Trail, then to Meadow Lake and then continue east for a few miles to the Pacific Crest Trail where you can hike to Canada or Mexico. Hiking is a great way to get exercise, learn more about plants and animals and broaden your aesthetic."

From 6 to 7:30 p.m., Meals will be the special guest during Bear Yuba Land Trust's first Fireside Chat of the season at Inn Town Campground. Suggested donation is $10.

The event held around the campfire is the kickoff of the land trusts' four day Celebration of Trails Weekend May 31 through June 3, the region's biggest showcase of local trails that includes an Ales for Trails fundraiser, first Hike-A-Thon, two festival locations with vendor villages and Yuba Bus shuttles and a full Sunday of free hikes, bike and equestrian rides.

Connect with the past

During his talk, Meals will focus on "Hiking Through History" a journey through time following: Indigenous people who followed the ripening of plants and migration of animals, equestrian Californios, walking miners and Mexican pack trains or "Arrieros," "Expressmen" freighters and professional packers, trail hubs and way stations, U.S. Forest Service, adventure trails and the wave of 1960s and 1970s hikers, mountain bikers, to present day hiking clubs.

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This year's participants of Celebration of Trails include: Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), Gold Country Trails Council, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Forest Trails Alliance, Yuba Trails Stewardship, Tahoe National Forest, Sierra Club-Sierra Nevada Group, South Yuba River Citizens League, South Yuba River Park Association, Sierra Fund, Two Chicks Beef Jerky, Gold Crush Climbing Gym, Mountain Recreation, Yuba Bus, KVMRx, Folk Trails Hiking Club, City of Grass Valley, City of Nevada City, County of Nevada, Nevada Irrigation District, Wolf Creek Community Alliance, ol' Republic Brewery, FREED and more.

Bear Yuba Land Trust has built and maintains over 30 miles of trails locally, with the assistance of community donations and volunteers. Celebration of Trails Weekend is meant to showcase this work and the many trail organizations, businesses and state and federal agencies the Land Trust partners with each year to create a "Trail Town" epicenter in Nevada County.

"Being outdoors helps me relax and stay connected with nature. I believe everyone should connect with the outdoors on a regular basis to stay grounded while getting some physical activity," said Yuba Trail Stewardship Volunteer Steve Lime. His favorite local trail is Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City.

"I love the Loma Rica Trail because I can ride from my house off of Greenhorn to the climbing gym by Peaceful Valley Nursery in about 20 minutes, and it's fun," said Desmond Sandy, owner of Gold Crush Climbing Gym, one of the local outdoor recreation businesses that will be represented at the ol' Republic Taproom vendor village.

In recent weeks, city and county government passed proclamations for trails and support is growing for outdoor recreation as a vital component of the local economy.

Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser and Nevada City councilmember Evans Phelps will be at ol' Republic's Taproom to share details about the future Sugarloaf Trail. County Supervisor Richard Anderson will stop by the Roadhouse location to give an update on the future Pines to Mines Trail that will some day link the towns of Nevada City and Truckee.

Check out the full schedule by visiting BYLT.org.

Ales for Trails

Help raise money for local trails during the first Ales for Trails fundraiser of the year while enjoying the draft debut of Trailside IPA, ol' Republic's newest brew benefiting Bear Yuba Land Trust. Trailside IPA (a session-able hazy) was brewed in support of the land trust for building and maintaining trails.

Meet other participants, sign up in person and get all the details for Saturday's Hike-A-Thon too, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the original "Town Parlour" the brewery's Nevada City Tap House. This will be the first of a series of Ales for Trails events held all summer long at various brewpub locations organized by BYLT in support of trails.

Hike-A-Thon

Bear Yuba Land Trust invites the community to help raise $10,000 for local trails during the first Celebration of Trails Hike-A-Thon Saturday, along the future Pines to Mines Trail in Nevada County. Participants will hike five miles, starting south of White Cloud Campground off Highway 20 along the Pioneer Trail (future Pines to Mines Trail) and finish at Ol' Republic Brewery's new Roadhouse (old 5 Mile House), raising money for trails with each step.

The campaign's overall goal is to raise $10,000 for maintaining and building Nevada County trails. The Hike-A-Thon is not a race. It's a family-friendly event for people of all ages and a fun way to get outdoors and support a cause that is healthy for everyone. Yuba Bus is partnering with the land trust and will provide morning shuttles from the Nevada County Government Center to the Hike-A-Thon starting point.

A number of prizes are available to Hike-A-Thon participants. At the finish line, friends, family, outdoor enthusiasts and trail lovers will cheer Hike-A-Thon participants and celebrate the rest of the day with live music, food trucks, fun activities and more.

Hikes & bike rides

Join Wolf Creek Community Alliance for an easy, 2.5 mile, round-trip hike along a lovely new trail segment that follows the confluence of Little Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek. This is the first segment of a Wolf Creek Trail system being developed in partnership with the City of Grass Valley, Bear Yuba Land Trust and the community alliance. It's recommended to bring water and a hat.

Trek Docent Linda Conklin (Junior Conservationists) will lead this casual Sunday morning stroll on the one-mile Yewei'im Bom Trail at the land trust's Burton Homestead Preserve. This one-mile exterior loop trail was completed in the spring of 2016. It traverses a variety of landscapes such as meadow, chaparral, mixed conifer forest and wetland habitat. Evidence of gold mining and Native American history can be found on the property.

Look for a variety of botanical interests including: Pacific madrone, white alder, Oregon grape, mountain misery, brodiaea, whitebark raspberry, madia, chain fern, bracken fern, soap plant, mugwort and Shelton's violet.

Bring the whole family for this kid-friendly, all ability level exploration of Nevada City's Hirschman Trail. Join Ana Acton, executive director of FREED, to explore this former hydraulic mine site (now property of the City of Nevada City) and investigate the flora and fauna of this popular land trust trail. Cameras, binoculars and sketchbooks are encouraged. This is a wheelchair, limited mobility accessible trail to the pond (.8 mile round trip). Those who want to go further will have that option, too.

Register and learn more: BYLT.org

Laura Petersen, an avid hiker and nature lover is the Outreach and Communications Manager for Bear Yuba Land Trust. Contact her at laura@bylt.org.

KNOW & GO

CELEBRATION OF TRAILS WEEKEND

Fireside Chat: All about trails with Hank Meals

WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Inn Town Campground

COST: Suggested donation of $10

Ales for Trails

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Ol’ Republic Brewery Tap House, Argall Way, Nevada City

Hike-A-Thon

WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday

WHERE: Pioneer Trail (future Pines to Mines Trail), Starts South of White Cloud Campground (Yuba Bus shuttles required) Highway 20, Ends Ol’ Republic Roadhouse (old 5 Mile House)

TRANSPORTATION: Yuba Bus pickup at Nevada County Government Center 8 and 8:30 a.m. There is no vehicle parking at the trailhead. Pre-Registration required online https://give.classy.org/BYLThikeathon or at Ales for Trails event on Friday at Ol’ Republic Taphouse

INFO: Questions? Call 530-272-5994 x 211

Vendor Villages

WHERE: Ol’ Republic Roadhouse (old 5 Mile House) Highway 20, Nevada City

WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Ol’ Republic Tap House, Argall Way, Nevada City

WHEN: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday

TRANSPORTATION: Yuba Bus shuttles all day. Visit BYLT.org for full bus schedule

“No – Drop” XCountry Trail Ride with BONC

DIFFICULTY: For all levels, No one is left behind

WHEN: Sunday

WHERE: Watch BYLT.org for updates

Walk on Wolf Creek Trail with Wolf Creek Community Alliance

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday

WHERE: Meet at the Grass Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, 556 Freeman Lane

DIFFICULTY: Easy, 2.5 miles

Nature Walk at Burton Homestead Preserve

WHEN: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday

WHERE: Burton Homestead Preserve

DIFFICULTY: Easy

COST: Free

Family Hike at Hirschman Trail with FREED

WHEN: Sunday

WHERE: Hirschman Trail, Cement Hill Road

DIFFICULTY: Easy to moderate (depending on distance and mobility level), .8 miles (wheelchair accessible) — 5 miles possible (moderate ascending and descending)

Lone Grave Loop Equestrian Ride

WHEN: 11 a.m.

DISTANCE: 6-7 miles, 2-2.5 hours

WHERE: Meet at Lone Grave GCTC Equestrian Trailhead

QUESTIONS, REGISTRATION: Contact Helen Harvey at helentharvey@icloud.com