Trail Manager: Maintained for the City of Nevada City by Bear Yuba Land Trust | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org / (530) 272-5994
Length: Full trail loop from Jordan Street trailhead is 1.5 miles; 0.3 mile from parking. Full trail loop from Providence Mine Road trailhead is 1.25 miles; 0.4 mile from parking.
Altitude Change: Ditch trail nearly level; lower trail maximum drop is 185′ below ditch trail.
Trail Surface: Natural Earth
Rules: No motor vehicles or horses; stay on trails; no smoking; no camping. Dogs on leash.
Miners Foundry: Continuing from the the Historic Downtown section of the trail, start at the intersection of Bridge St and Factory St on the west side of the Miners Foundry building. (N39.26205 W121.02079) To get there from Robinson Plaza, walk up Commercial Street, turn left on York Street, cross Broad Street, then go uphill toward the Bonanza Market and the historic Nevada Theater. Turn left into the parking lot between those two buildings and walk down the lot to Spring Street where you will be in front of the Miners Foundry. Now go down the road on the right side of the Foundry (this is Bridge Street) to Factory Street on the right. There is a small Tribute Trail marker at this intersection (look on the telephone pole just right of the “Not A Through Street” sign on your left as you enter Factory Street.) Continue down Wyoming Street until you reach the trailhead at Champion Mine Road.
Jordan Street Trailhead by foot or bike: It is easy to walk or bicycle to this trailhead from downtown Nevada City. From the intersection of Broad and Pine streets go south on Pine Street, cross Deer Creek on the Pine Street bridge and turn right on Tribulation Trail (a narrow path on the right, just where the bridge ends). Follow this short path to its end, then veer left up a gravel road about 40 yards and go right on the first paved road you see. This is Jordan Street. Follow Jordan Street west about 0.4 mile to where the road widens for parking and there is a sign saying “No Turnaround Beyond.” Continue past this sign, keeping right to stay on Jordan Street. Go about 0.3 mile on Jordan Street. Look for signs that say “Tribute Trail Access Point – Pedestrian Traffic Only” or “Wastewater Treatment Plant.” These indicate you are going the right way. The paved road will fork near the wastewater treatment plant. Stay left at the “One Way” sign. The well-marked trailhead will be on your left about 50 yards after the “One Way” sign.
Providence Mine Road Trailhead: From the intersection of Broad and Pine streets in downtown Nevada City, take Pine Street south 0.4 mile, bear right on Sacramento Street and after about 200 yards bear left on Zion Street. Continue south on Zion Street for about ½ mile. Turn right on Providence Mine Road and go about 1/3 mile. You will see a very large boulder ahead with the words “grass valley” and the corporate logo for the Grass Valley Group, the founding business of what is now the Nevada City Tech Center. This was the road to the Champion and Providence mines. The well-marked trailhead will be on your right. 0.4 mile down this road from the gate.
Trail Facts: From the trailhead, follow the trail downhill through forest. In about 300 yards it will come out onto a maintenance road. Go briefly right on this road and take the first trail you see on the left (near a pair of massive boulders where you will also see a Nisenan Tribute Site display.) This is the beginning of the Nisenan Trail. (N39.26087 W121.03185) It will take you to the north landing of the Angkula Seo Bridge after about 150 yards, then across the bridge and up the hill on the south side of Deer Creek. The trail continues to the Chinese Bridge section if you do not cross the bridge.
The history of the Nisenan is told in a series of four interpretive signs positioned at intervals along the ditch trail. The Nisenan were devastated by the Gold Rush in 1849 and the subsequent boomtown development of Nevada City. Early placer mining in and around Deer Creek was quickly followed by hydraulic mining and hard rock mining in the 1850s and 1860s respectively. The Providence Mine, remnants of which can be seen from this trail, and the Champion Mine across Deer Creek, were the two largest producing gold mines of the Nevada City mining district. The Rough & Ready Ditch, which a part of this trail follows, was built in 1850. Sixteen miles long, the ditch brought water from Deer Creek about 5 miles east of Nevada City to the mining area of Rough & Ready.
In the early 1980s, a proposed residential/commercial development in this vicinity called “Champion Trails” was proposed and defeated at the polls by Nevada City voters. During the planning process, an area labeled “Deer Creek Environs” was defined on maps as the property bounded roughly by the Newtown and Rough & Ready ditches in the Deer Creek canyon. Shortly afterward, the Grass Valley Group acquired land in the vicinity from the Erickson Lumber company to build new facilities in Nevada City, and also purchased 40 acres of the Deer Creek Environs which the company donated in 1985 to the City of Nevada City as permanent, public open space land. In 2009, Sierra Streams Institute began developing the trail with grant funds from Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Sierra Streams Institute and Bear Yuba Land Trust constructed the trail with the help of many volunteers. The trail was completed in the spring of 2013.