Hoyt Trail is a scenic, three-quarter mile, out-and-back dirt trail that offers pawrific views above the South Yuba River which is located approximately seven miles northwest of Nevada City. The trail is also partly shaded and meanders across several seasonal streams bordered by riparian fauna. The trail is also dog-friendly as long as you keep your dog on a leash.
To get to the trail from Nevada City, find Highway 49 (also called Golden Chain Highway) north heading towards Downieville. Along this road, you will see a sign indicating ’South Yuba River Access.’ Hoyt Trail is located where Highway 49 (Golden Chain Highway) crosses the South Yuba River. Less than 500 feet past the sign and just before the highway bridge, turn right and drive to the paved parking lot ahead. Then walk across the highway bridge towards the trailhead at the end of the bridge.
From the trailhead, you can hear the rushing river below. The first quarter-mile section of the trail will lead you up a short incline through a few steps. Through most of the trail, you will catch views of the river and the historic Miner’s Tunnel.
Along the path, you will also come across wildflowers, chaparral, rare conifers, live oak, and pine woodland. There are also several riparian plants including western spicebush which is unique due to its burgundy flowers that smell like red wine. There are several unmaintained side paths along the main trail that lead to the river below the trail. To get to the end of the trail, stick to the main trail and follow the well-labeled signs along the trail and right to the end where you will see a sign indicating ‘Hoyt's Crossing Trail’ which is a different connecting trail.
Although the trail is moderately trafficked along the main path, the side trails offer some solace since not a lot of people hike these steep paths towards the river. If you choose to hike on these side paths, make sure that you are well covered to avoid contact with ticks and poison oak common in the area.
All things considered, Hoyt Trail is a great place for hikers and their tail-waggers to explore the bush as well as have access to swimming holes for cooling off when the weather is hot. Take some time off and enjoy this pawesome trail!