Narrow Gauge Trail


Google Earth

Trail Manager: Trail Easement held by Bear Yuba Land Trust | Contact / (530) 272-5994

Length: Official section: 0.9 mile. Entire trail including unofficial “use” section: 1.7 miles

Altitude change: 0 – 10′

Trail Surface: Natural Earth

Rules: No motorized vehicles; respect private property; stay on trails

Trailheads: Talking Pines Trailhead: The official trail runs along the west side of Hwy 174 from Bar Ela Ranch Road on the north to a point about 60 yards north of Powerline Road where it comes out on the road shoulder. You can access this section of trail most conveniently at the Talking Pines Road trailhead where there is a small parking area alongside the trail just off Hwy 174. From the intersection of South Auburn Street and Colfax Avenue in Grass Valley take Colfax Avenue (Hwy 174) east about 7.7 miles to Talking Pines Road and turn right. The trailhead parking is immediately on your left with the trail just beyond it.

Chicago Park Trailhead: There is an informal trailhead at the unpaved community parking lot located between the Chicago Park Store and the post office at the intersection of Hwy 174 and Mt. Olive Road Look for a narrow dirt path running close to the highway at the north end of the parking lot. From this point you can go north 0.8 mile to Powerline Road, then continue north from there on the official trail. Look for the unsigned trail entrance along the road shoulder of Hwy 174 about 60 yards north of the Powerline Road intersection.

Trail Facts: This is a well-used local trail running through the countryside north of Chicago Park. It follows the route of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad (NCNGR) and includes a short section where some of the original earthen berm for the tracks can still be seen. Unofficial extensions of this trail to the south connect it to the community parking area near the post office at Chicago Park. The trail takes its name from the historic Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad (NCNGR) linking the transcontinental railroad at Colfax to the prosperous gold mining and fruit growing area around Grass Valley and Nevada City. It operated between 1876 and 1942. Providing both freight and passenger service, the railroad carried a fortune in gold and other cargo during its 66 year history. If you would like to learn more about this history, visit the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum at 5 Kidder Court in Nevada City or visit their web site.

From the community parking lot in Chicago Park you can also ride or walk west along Mt. Olive Road as far as the Chicago Park Elementary School using the Park & Walk Trail.

Donate to Trails