South Yuba River Wild and Scenic Trail Marker Project

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What is the South Yuba River Wild & Scenic Trail Marker Project?  

The South Yuba River canyon has miles and miles of trails running down the canyon to access the water and running parallel along the river. This network of trails transects State Park Land, BLM Land, Tahoe National Forest Land, and private properties. Currently, though, little to no signage or directional infrastructure exists along these trails.

In 2020, the South Yuba River saw a major influx of first-time visitors venturing further up and down the river than ever before. Extremely limited cell service exists in these areas, making navigating to and from intended destinations more difficult for visitors accustomed to relying on their mobile devices for wayfinding purposes. Due to the lack of signage, when accidents occur along trails in the canyon, seldom do visitors know where they are or how to direct emergency responders to their location.   

For these reasons SYRCL has partnered with Nevada County and landowners to increase visitor safety in the South Yuba River canyon by developing a mile marker system and signage along the trails from the town of Washington to Bridgeport Crossing within the South Yuba State Park.

This project will help increase wayfinding capacity for new visitors in the canyon and reduce response times for emergency services.  It will also help trail users identify when they are entering public or private land so they can follow corresponding rules.    

By providing bilingual directional signage, mile markers, along with public information signage about recreating in the Wild & Scenic designated area, this project aims to improve visitor awareness, aid emergency services, and increase the likelihood that users will comply with various land use regulations. 

 Visitors should expect to begin seeing these trail mile markers popping up in the summer of 2024 so keep your eyes peeled!  

Rose Ledford standing next to Mile Markers

What Has SYRCL Staff Been Up To?  

Most of the materials that will be used for this project are currently sitting at the SYRCL office waiting to go in the ground. In 2023, we had some awesome volunteers come into the office and prepare signage with decals and mile stickers for installation.  

Staff has worked to secure all the appropriate agreements with TNF, BLM, USACE, and State Parks which means that posts can be installed this summer on these public lands. Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) will help communicate with private landowners following the installation on public lands.  

SYRCL staff has been hiking the trails to fully determine where signage should go. This portion of the project is called ground truthing and it involves “boots on the ground” work to measure out trail miles and determine roughly where a post can go. Lots of trails in the South Yuba canyon traverse steep, rocky outcroppings so part of the process has been finding good spots to place posts.  

What’s Coming Up Next?  

We are just beginning to get dates on the calendar for implementation of this work. Installation within State Park lands is slated to occur in early February at Bridgeport State Park and on the trails surrounding the 49 Bridge (Hoyt’s Trail and Independence East)!  

We plan on installing along the South Yuba Trail on March 13th, 14th, and 15th and will need some able-bodied volunteers to come out and help. This trail connects from Poorman Creek near Washington, Ca to Purdon Crossing, so it will be a huge push and will be broken up into several sections. This work will require hiking long miles and carrying heavy gear, but volunteers will be able to hike with and learn from SYRCL staff. We haven’t uploaded these volunteer shifts yet so please stay tuned for updates!   

After all of the instillation work on this project has been completed, we will provide a geo-referenced, downloadable PDF that community members can download for their own records if they so choose.  

If you have any questions about this project reach out to Rose Ledford, SYRCL’s Science and Education Project Manager, at Rose@yubariver.org or by phone (530) 265 – 5961 x 207 

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One Comment

  1. Russ Andris says:

    For those who have iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max Sat phone is built in. If you can not get cell service it will switch over to Sat. service. It is also in the iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max. When I worked on the S. Yuba for BLM I bought my own Cell/Sat phone back in 1998 till I retired in 2005.

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