Westside Trail: Railroad Grade

This three-foot narrow gauge railroad first operated under the name of the Hetch Hetchy & Yosemite Valley Railroad, starting in 1898. Located in Tuolumne, the Westside Trail is part of a proposed State Wide Trail Corridor system.

This trail is developed from the east boundary of the Tuolumne Township to approximately four miles beyond the Stanislaus National Forest boundary. Hikers, bikers, and horse riders use the trail. The canyon views are absolutely breathtaking. A short distance in the trail you will find the train tracks from yesteryear.

At the 1.3 mile point all rails and ties were removed in the 1980’s. From here to the river, remains of the three foot rails on their roadbed are mostly in place.  Some ties and rails have been damaged by rockfalls, washouts and vandals, but enough of the narrow gauge railroad remains to give walkers a sense of the area’s rail history. If you look closely at the rails, you’ll see the inscription of the manufacturer and the year the rail was made…1907.

Access from Twain Harte:
Tuolumne Road North towards Tuolumne City, right on Carter Street opposite the entrance to the Black Oak Casio. Left on Buchanan Road
Access from Sonora:
Tuolumne Road towards Tuolumne City, through the traffic signal to stop sign at Carter Street.  Left on Carter Street.  Right on Buchanan Road

These track were the connection and life line of the town. Trains would bring logs out from the beautiful forest each and every day. Today when walking the trail you can see trucks below on the road traveling with full loads of logs still today!

Access from Twain Harte: Tuolumne Road North towards Tuolumne City, right on Carter Street opposite the entrance to the Black Oak Casio. Left on Buchanan Road Access from Sonora: Tuolumne Road towards Tuolumne City, through the traffic signal to stop sign at Carter Street.  Left on Carter Street.  Right on Buchanan Road.

The Westside Railroad Trail begins at Miramonte subdivision on Cottonwood Road, one mile east of downtown Tuolumne City. The trail overlooks the Tuolumne River Canyon.

Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 38.001535 Longitude: -120.160662 Elevation: 3132 ft

Trail Distance

The total distance round trip is 9 miles; this trail can accommodate any desired length with markers

Pet Friendly Notes

Yes this trail is pet friendly. Please keep pets on a leash and pick up and waste that may occur when on the trail. Keep in mind that wildlife calls this area home.

Comments

A California Statewide Trail Corridor System is already in place, with 22 trails making up the system. Perhaps it's a countwide trail corridor system that's proposed. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25680.

Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail Council, 10/27/2016

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