We’re thrilled to report that one of California’s most dog-friendly parks has been saved by the bell—or rather, the community bark. South Yuba River State Park, one of few state parks to allows dogs on all its trails, will stay open thanks to grassroots efforts by school children and a citizens' group that convinced Nevada County officials to institute parking fees to help fund operations.
This beloved Gold Country preserve, which hugs the south fork of the Yuba River for about 20 miles, was one of 70 state parks slated to close on July 1 due to budget shortfalls. It is now the ninth to be “saved” by a partnership deal. Starting soon, visitors will have to pay to park at the Bridgeport visitors center and perhaps other points of entry, as well.
That’s all well and good for DogTrekkers, who can continue to hike, swim and splash along scenic paths including the Buttermilk Bend, South Yuba River and Independence trails.
The Independence Trail north of Nevada City is a particular favorite for hikers and canine pals looking for an outing that will satisfy with scenery but not leave them breathless. The first wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country follows the route of a Gold Rush-era mining ditch and features dozens of bridges, ramps and flumes spanning gorges and streams. Even parents pushing strollers can enjoy it most of the way. A highlight is a 520-foot switchback ramp that dogs love running up and down.
We give this park a four-paw rating, congratulate those who worked so hard to save it and bet that you too will find it worth the trip, parking fee or no.