This easy, three-mile trail above the Wild and Scenic Merced River corridor below Midpines is great day trip. Bring water, food and a gold pan…cause ya never know.
Start at the Bureau of Land Management's Briceburg Visitors Center on Highway 140. Park in the Day Use parking lot, then walk across the suspension bridge. At the end of the bridge, take a right and follow the former route of the Yosemite Valley Railroad up-river.
Along the way, you’ll discover spring wildflowers and, at any time of year, enjoy beautiful views of the Merced River as it rushes through the steep mountain passes.
Briceberg was established in 1909 as a resort along the north side of the Merced River. William Brice moved his home and store to this location in the 1920s. When the convict work camp was abandoned in 1926, he moved to the south side of the river and continued operating from that location.
Gold and silver were located within the mountains surrounding this area. The railroad followed the Merced River starting in the 1890s to transport minerals and timber from the surrounding mountains. Passengers were booked from Madera to vacation or just visit Yosemite National Park. This right-a-way was very important to establish trade and growth in this area.
• From Merced, travel 37 miles east on Highway 140 to Mariposa. Then travel another 12 miles on Highway 140 to the Briceburg Visitor Center.