Nevada City, CA
Sugarloaf Trail Project
At the May 10, 2017 meeting, Council approved a conceptual trail alignment for the Sugarloaf Trail as proposed by the Bear Yuba Land Trust.  At the April 10, 2019 meeting, staff presented an update to Council on the progress of the Sugarloaf Trail since that conceptual approval. At the August 28, 2021 meeting, the City Council adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project and voted to approve the proposed trail project.  The MND adopted for the project can be found at this link. Special Studies used to inform the MND are provided in links below. The proposed trail can be found at this link. 


A proposed multi-use trail construction project within the Nevada City limits on a 30.52-acre open space parcel (APN 036-020-026) that encompasses all but the northern flank of Sugarloaf Mountain, with easements through two private parcels (APNs 005-310-009 & 005-310-010) and along the right-of-way of State Highway 49. The goal of the trail project is to connect downtown Nevada City to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The trail route will be approximately one mile in length. It will commence at the corner of State Highway 49 and North Bloomfield Road, and terminate at a point along an existing gravel access road that goes to the top of Sugarloaf from an entrance on upper Coyote Street.  The new trail will also connect to an existing graveled excavated area, approximately 0.10 acre in size that will be improved to accommodate trail parking for approximately eight vehicles. The parking area will connect via an existing informal, user-created trail, which will be minimally improved (brush clearing and tread improvement for drainage and loose rock removal). The project will also incorporate minor improvements to an existing user-created trail along the eastern side of the City-owned property. The proposed trail also offers connection to Hirschman Trail and Tobiassen Park via a recently established County trail that runs west from North Bloomfield Road to the Nevada County Government Center.

The first 1/3 mile of the trail will run east from the northeast corner of State Hwy 49 and North Bloomfield Road, within the State Hwy 49 right of way to a 20-foot wide private easement that traverses the west side of APN 05-310-09 (currently leased by US Forest Service) and through  the west side of APN 05-310-10. From there, the trail enters the City’s Sugarloaf property, continues in a northeasterly direction, before aligning primarily to the north and ultimately connecting to the existing Sugarloaf Trail access road.  

All new trails will be constructed in accordance with USFS trail construction standards and best management practices (BMPs). The total disturbance area will be approximately 1/2 acre. The trail will be narrow, not to exceed four feet in width in order to encourage slower travel speeds. Vegetative clearings up to 10-feet wide may occur every 200-feet in order to accommodate winter vegetative burn piles during trail construction and for continued trail maintenance. Trail grades will typically be close to 8% throughout the project, except where physical constraints require a steeper grade to avoid irregular topography, rock outcrops, large trees or other environmental concerns.  In no case will grades exceed 15%. Trail tread width will vary from 36 to 48  inches, depending on location, and physical constraints. On steep, rocky slopes, the trail width will be narrow to minimize disturbance and to reduce trail construction costs. The trail will be built using a mini excavator, chainsaws, and a variety of hand tools. On site materials used include rock for retaining walls and fill, and soil for grading will be used for construction of the trails.

The proposed trail is located in the lower montane coniferous forest zone of the northern Sierra Nevada foothills at elevations of 2,600 to 3,000 ft. The trail will traverse an unnamed intermittent stream that parallels the western boundary of the Sugarloaf property. The intermittent stream is approximately 30-inches wide and will be crossed via a 24-inch culvert  within the State Hwy 49 right-of-way. A rock retaining wall will also be necessary to stabilize an area of the proposed trail along a portion of the private easement through APN 05-310-10.

Project Studies/Material :
Cultural Resources Survey

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Biological Inventory Report

Waters Delineation Report

Preliminary Geotechnical Feasibility Study

Sugarloaf Master Plan

Trail Construction Documents

Preliminary Environmental Study Form (PES) Requirements
Project Location Map
Project Footprint Map
GeoTracker Printout for Hazardous Materials
Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List from USFWS
Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List from NMFS
Photos of project site
VIA Questionaire
VIA Memo

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