This short trail follows the Grass Valley irrigation ditch in the Alta Hill area of Grass Valley. Its pastoral environment and links to other green spaces make it popular for people looking for a nearly level, vehicle-free route for exercise or a neighborhood stroll.
Place: Grass Valley, CA
Land: Easement and unofficial pathway in a suburban neighborhood
Trail signs: Trailhead is marked with Bear Yuba Land Trust sign at Cooley Drive
Length: 0.25 mile
Altitude change: Level
Trail surface: Native soil
Environment: Suburban area with partial shade from a variety of trees
Rules: Respect private property. Non-motorized use only.
Trailheads: A signed trailhead is on Cooley Drive in Grass Valley. From West Main Street in downtown Grass Valley take Alta Street 0.8 mile to Alta Hill Mine Road. Turn left and drive 0.2 mile to Cooley Drive. Turn left on Cooley, go about 150 feet, and park near the irrigation ditch. Parking is limited.
The unsigned west end of the trail can be reached from Carey Drive, off Ridge Road. At the end of Carey Drive is a gate with a pedestrian pass-through. The Grass Valley irrigation ditch lies about 100 feet ahead; cross the ditch and turn left.
Trail tips: The Bailey Trail follows the placid Grass Valley irrigation ditch under the shade of ponderosa pines, black oaks, and naturalized fruit trees. About 500 feet south of Cooley Drive it reaches a footbridge across the ditch and curves to the right (west). The trail continues west along the canal bank for 0.15 mile, with a fence just south of the trail marking the boundary with two neighboring cemeteries: St. Patrick’s and Greenwood Memorial. The trail ends at Carey Drive, which lies 100 feet right (north) of the ditch. Beyond this point the trail along the ditch bank fades and ends at private property.
Connecting trails lead into undeveloped portions of the two neighboring cemeteries. From the footbridge, a broad trail heads south into St. Patrick’s. A trail into Greenwood Memorial lies about halfway between the footbridge and Carey Drive, where it passes through an opening in the fence. These trails are frequented by exercise-walkers and joggers, and also provide a route to Rough and Ready Highway (when the cemetery gates are open). These landowners currently allow pedestrian use — please respect them by using common sense and picking up any litter.
Side Trip: The Bailey Trail can also be part of a longer walking/jogging route that includes DeVere Mautino Community Park, ¼ mile to the northeast. To reach the park from Cooley Drive, turn right on Alta Hill Mine Road and take it to Alta Street and the park’s main entrance. By extending the route to Dolores Drive or Alta Vista Avenue, north and east of the park, a longer route on trails and quiet residential streets can be created.