Cascade Canal Trail, Nevada County, California

said on October 3rd, 2010 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

Cascade Canal trail is flat as a pancake.  As a runner I find that kind of terrain tedious, but it does have its uses.  Some folks need a flat trail because they can’t handle a lot of hills.  It’s also very shady and, because the trail follows the canal for its entire length, there is plenty of water for the pooch.

Canal lower 2

Lower Cascade Canal Trail

The Cascade Canal trailhead is a couple of miles east of highway 49 between Grass Valley, California and Nevada City, California. There is a small parking area at the corner of Banner Lava Cap Road and Gracie Road.

Canal sign

Cascade Canal Trailhead

I actually park in a secondary lot a few hundred yards further down Gracie Road toward Nevada City.  There is a well-maintained, well-marked spur trail from this lot up to the main trail.

Canal parking lot

Lower Parking Lot

Pretty much, the trail resembles itself, mile after mile.  The upper portion of the canal has concrete sides, the lower portion is more natural. 

Canal upper 2

Upper Trail

This is an out-and-back run, about 4.5 miles each way.  You can turn around sooner, of course. 

Canal view

Long View from the Trail

Cascade canal is not much for views.  This is the only long range peek you get.

Canal pipe 1

Cascade Canal Trail Pipe

There are two major pipes along the way.  Whoopee.  That’s it for landmarks.

Canal NID box

Cascade Canal Mystery Object

Does anybody know what this is?

Canal upper 1

Dharma Cools Off in the Upper Canal

Cascade Canal is one of Dharma’s favorites.  She is in and out about a zillion times.  This is a great run in the summer heat if you have a dog—a rugged dog who loves the outdoors.  Little yappers who venture into the canal may never be seen again.

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