Orene Wetherall Trail
A refreshing out-and-back side trip with some great views, branching off the popular Cascade Canal trail on Banner Mountain east of Nevada City.
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Nevada City, CA
Land trust preserve and private land
Bear Yuba Land Trust signs
0.75 from parking lot; then 0.6 mile on Wetherall trail.
(Total 2.7 mile round trip)
280' down; 280' up returning
Mixed conifers and deciduous trees
Foot and bike only. Dogs on leash. No motorized vehicles. Stay on trail; respect private property. Hikers and mountain bikers watch for each other and pass safely. Out and back only. Turn around at "End of Trail" sign. No authorized outlet at bottom of present trail. A trail extension will be constructed beginning in spring 2011 with completion scheduled for 2012. When completed, a loop walk through the Woodpecker Preserve will be available.
To reach the Orene Wetherall trail you must first find one of the two parking areas (upper and lower) for the trailheads of the Cascade Canal trail. The upper parking area is at the intersection of Banner Lava Cap road and Gracie road. This intersection is 2.3 miles east of the old Nevada City Highway on Banner Lava Cap road. The lower parking area is located on the east side of Gracie Road about 700' downhill from the intersection. From either parking area, walk about 0.75 mile east on the Banner-Cascade trail and look on your left for the trail sign to the Orene Wetherall trail.
Upper parking area: N39.23987 W120.99618
Lower parking area: N39.24097 W120.99847
Orene Wetherall trailhead: N39.24369 W120.98742
Using online services like MapQuest, Google Maps, Bing Maps, or Rand McNally, you can get directions from your location to the upper parking area by entering this phrase as in the destination box: "Banner Lava Cap and Gracie Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959."
Trail tips: The trail presently stops at a temporary "End of Trail" sign. Please do not go beyond this point or attempt to access the base of the trail through local neighborhood roads or the D-S canal. Return to the upper trailhead and enjoy the exercise and different views on the way back up. A full loop trail is scheduled to be opened in 2012.
The trail is located on the Woodpecker Preserve, a 28 acre parcel of land donated by local community leaders to Bear Yuba Land Trust, and was built by volunteers with donated funding. You may spot wildlife in this area since it is a nature preserve, and on clear days you will have some good views toward Nevada City and the mountains beyond.
Dedicated in June 2010, this attractive trail was named by long-time Nevada City attorney William B. Wetherall in memory of his late wife Orene. Mr. Wetherall at age 99 was present at the trail dedication and walked the full length of the trail that day.