Rebuild Independence Trail

Following the destructive Jones Fire of 2020, Bear Yuba Land Trust is working in partnership with California State Parks to raise the funds needed to rebuild the Independence Trail in the spirit of John Olmsted’s original design.

Donate to rebuild Independence Trail

About Independence Trail

Built by local volunteers under the vision of John Olmsted, Nevada City’s Independence Trail became the first wheelchair accessible wilderness trail in the United States.

In 2012, Bear Yuba Land Trust was entrusted with ownership of the 207-acre Sequoya Challenge Preserve in the South Yuba River canyon which consists of seven separate parcels interspersed with California State Parks land along both the east and west portions of the Independence Trail bisected by Highway 49. Read more about Independence Trail.


A Wild Independence

In 2021, Bear Yuba Land Trust worked with local filmmakers, including trail visionary John Olmsted’s son, Alden Olmsted, to tell the story of how Independence Trail came to be. The resulting film, A Wild Independence, contains interviews, archival footage, and sweeping present day imagery of the trail and its scenic environs on the South Yuba River. Read more about the film.

A Wild Independence Film Makes PBS Debut! 

We are excited to continue to be able to spread the message about the incredible, iconic Independence Trail and the story of John Olmsted, told by his son Alden. Efforts continue to restore this trail to its former glory. 

PBS aired A Wild Independence on their main channel KVIEHD and KVIE2 in December 2022.