What's Up at Yuba Bridgeport?
South Yuba River State Park
(Posted December 22, 2002)

While most of us have been off on other activities, the staff and volunteers at the South Yuba River have been busy making the trail better and more accessible to everybody. A visit today confirms that all four bridges that allow wheelchair access to the Buttermilk Bend trail are now in place. The last, and by far largest, strongest and most beautiful, now stretches gracefully across a natural drainage ditch from the hills above.

Visitors can go directly from the parking lot to the upper path that now connects to the main Buttermilk Bend Trail. Some work is still to be done on the near side of the bridge to make it wheelchair accessible, but even now, with some assistance to get by the rocks and steps seen in the above photo, a wheelchair hiker can easily proceed from the parking lot to the bend at French Corral creek.

The trail takes on a unique look at this Christmastime of year. The main color is the red berries of the Toyon bushes, and you will discover that there are a great number of them.

Something else new on the trail is a memorial bench placed at just the perfect spot for a rest, or just a chance to sit quietly at one of the best overall views of the river on the trail.

The bench is dedicated to a friend of the river. We all thank Club Live of Ready Springs School -- what a perfect memorial to Laura Wilcox.

And here's the view while sitting on the bench looking back toward park headquarters:

The river itself is most exciting this time of the year, glistening in the sun as it roars past with recent rainwater and runoff from the accumulating snow. Note the swirl pools as the water rushes past rocks beneath the surface:

Farther down the river it splits into two branches with all the extra water:

Make some time during the holiday season to walk the trail between rains. The hard work by staff and volunteers the past two years has improved the drainage such that during this walk today, the next day after a week of heavy rain, there were no puddles and very little mud. Amazing!