Deer Creek Tribute Trail Bridge
The first Saturday of June marked National Trails Day 2011. In Nevada City, California we celebrated with a hike along the new Deer Creek Tribute Trail. American Rivers, along with many local community groups, worked to create this 7-mile creek-side trail re-connecting the community to this beautiful, little known gem. On June 3rd, the California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird officially opened the Tribute Trail after years of anticipation.
With little public access and the troubled legacy of the gold mining era, the Nevada City community had largely forgotten Deer Creek, even though it runs directly through the city. The Deer Creek Tribute Trail connects existing paths through town then along creek on backroads and new trails past historical sites, and down to a new walking bridge offering spectacular views of the creek. During the construction of the trail American Rivers restored the critical connection between the creek and its floodplain habitat directly downstream from the bridge view.
As the weather continues to warm up here in California more and more people are getting to explore the Tribute Trail. While the steep gradient makes Deer Creek a poor candidate for a traditional blue trail we hope that the creek side trail will create a unique opportunity to inspire people to protect our rivers from harm and repair damage from the past. After all, National Trails Day happens only once a year, but a healthy river can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
Watch the bridge going in: