Hiking Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California

Hiking Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California (3)

  • Location: Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California
  • Distance: 4.6 miles (out and back)
  • Ascent: 1079 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

It’s funny how you can visit an area for years knowing about a trail right around the corner. I’ve been heading up to Strawberry to my family’s cabin for five years now, and it wasn’t until this last trip at New Years that we finally expanded our hiking area (maybe it was the lack of snow!) In my defense, I’ve always gravitated towards the nearby Pinecrest Lake trail, and when sticking close to home, we tended to walk the backroads and search for mushrooms.

Right before this trip, we were walking one of the roads when I saw a sign saying, “Do not enter, trail 300 feet ahead.” What? A trail? And lo and behold, 300 feet ahead, there were indeed trail markers and a well-defined (and well-used — am I really the last to know about this?) trail heading down the hill.

A couple weeks later, friends and I finally explored this new trail, which turned out to be the Sugar Pine Railway trail, where a railroad used to be and taken down in the ’70s.

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