Cascade Canal Trail

Comments: A very nice 4.5 mile trail that is a popular with local hikers, runners, dog walkers, and cyclist. Just recently declared a legal access, the entire trail passes over private property. This NID {Nevada Irrigation District} canal is fairly flat, and wide for most of the canal berm’s 4.5 miles. This is really a perfect trail to learn to mountain bike or to do a family ride on. It’s forested and shady and open most of the year, except when we get some low snows during winter. If you want to ride fast and race then you should look for a different trail to ride on. Out and back is 9 miles with 60 ft of climb.
Getting there: Access is off Red Dog Rd. and the other end is at the intersection of Banner Lava Cap and Gracie Road. There is a spot there for a dozen cars to park. The Trail starts on Gracie at that corner heading North {upstream}. If you want to you can also park off Red Dog Rd. There is a road edge on the right next to the gate that can handle 8 cars or so. If you drive or ride up the hill on Red Dog Rd. you will pass the DS Canal first before coming to the Cascade Canal. If you are riding from Nevada City it’s a good hill climb. Banner Lava Cap Rd. is the least steep and Gracie Rd. has the least auto traffic.
If you are coming off Hwy 49 at the Bunswick exit {coming from Grass Valley or Auburn} take a right onto Brunswick Road and after a stop light and the Lucky Shopping Center take a left onto Old Tunnel Rd. Follow that and take a right at the stop on Banner Lava Cap Rd. Stay on that till you see Gracie on the left and park on the corner.
On The Trail: Well if you start at Banner Lava Cap and Gracie Roads then you will see the canal at the top of Gracie Rd. Hop onto the berm of the canal and head north {upstream}. The trail is dirt and about 4 ft wide in the beginning and widens to 6 to 8 ft for most the way . Continue upstream on the canal and in .3 mile you will pass through a gate that has a walking access that’s too tight to get handle bars through. At .7 miles you come to another gate that has a trail around it on the left. A short distance later you come to a view spot with great views of Nevada City and the surrounding hills. Continuing on at 1.7 miles you come to a pipe across a ravine. Hikers walk across the pipe but biker’s will want to continue up the trail around to the other side of the Banner Ravine instead, to ride around the pipe. {This is the Banner Mountain Trail Rd. and is another access point.} After passing that pipe you come to another pipe at 2.5 miles. You can either cross the pipe or drop down and cross the Little Deer Creek. The catwalk across the pipe is narrow and you will need to walk your bike upright on its back tire to walk across. After the last pipe there is a few more miles before you come to the access gate on Red Dog Rd. It’s time to turn around unless you are dropping down to Nevada City. If you do a round trip on the canal you will have had a 9 mile ride.
The Fish
Pictures of Cascade Trail
Back To The Home Page And Index