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.
Place: Nevada City, CA
Season: Year around
Land: Bear Yuba Land Trust preserve and private land
Trail signs: Bear Yuba Land Trust signs
Length: 0.6 mile one way
Altitude change: 280 feet
Trail surface: Native soil
Environment: Mixed conifers and deciduous trees
Rules: Foot and bike only. Dogs on leash. No motorized vehicles. Stay on the trail; respect private property. Hikers and mountain bikers watch for each other and pass safely. Out and back only. At “End of Trail” sign, take trail extension loop (opposite the sign) through the Woodpecker Preserve.
Trailheads: To reach the Orene Wetherall Trail you must first find the parking area for the trailhead of the Cascade Canal Trail. The parking area is located on the east side of Gracie Road about 700′ downhill from the intersection of Gracie Road and Banner Lava Cap Road. Take the spur trail up, then walk, turn left at the top of the hill, then 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.
Cascade Canal trailhead: N39.24097 W120.99847
Orene Wetherall trailhead: N39.24369 W120.98742
Trail tips: Please do not go beyond the sign marked “End of Trail” or attempt to access the base of the trail through local neighborhood roads or the D-S canal. Instead, continue on the main trail opposite this sign for the full loop trail.
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.