Stevens Trail a popular hiking venue for decades

By: From the files of the Colfax Record
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Jan. 30, 2003 – A single car derailed near Norden, near Mile Post 190, at 3 a.m. Wednesday. One set of wheels came off the tracks. The car did not tip over and it was back on the tracks by mid-morning. No one was injured. A load shift on the train may have contributed to the derailment. No one was injured.

Emily Ann Norton graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Dec. 4, 2002 in the fall commencement ceremony at the Prescott, Ariz. Campus. The 1998 Colfax High School graduate earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Defense Studies. She is the daughter of Ed and Anita Norton. Norton has taken a position as 2nd Lt. in the United States Army.



Feb. 3, 1993 – The property along the Stevens Trail near Colfax has been preserved thanks to a cooperative land acquisition by the Trust for Public Land and the Bureau of Land Management. The Trust, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, and the BLM purchased nearly 260 acres surrounding the historic and scenic trail to the North Fork American River. The property, which has been the site of a number of proposed housing developments, includes the Stevens Trail trailhead, a substantial portion of the trail itself, and property essential to preserving the viewshed of the Wild and Scenic section of the North Fork of the American River. The owners of the property agreed to split off portions of the property critical to the Stevens Trail from their 645-acre holding. As a result of local grassroots support and lobbying, BLM was able to purchase the initial 230-acre piece with money appropriated by Congress. Looming above the trail is the treacherous Cape Horn section of the Transcontinental Railroad, where many Chinese laborers are reputed to have lost their lives while carving the trackbed out of a sheer cliff while suspended in baskets. After work was completed on the railway, the Chinese settled the area adjacent to the trail, which was dubbed “Chinese Garden” and later became known as Burnt Flat. Stevens Trail is now a popular hiking trail that leads 4.5 miles down to the North Fork of the American River. The trail continues up the other side of the canyon to Iowa Hill and is frequently used by athletes training for the Western States 100 Mile Race. The trailhead is located just off Interstate 80 at the Colfax exit on the east end of North Canyon Way, beyond the Colfax Cemetery. There is limited parking and a trailhead marker.



Jan. 31, 1963 – Eighty-two people hiked down the Stevens Trail Sunday. Many of them were from the valley of fog, so the sunshine in our area was thoroughly to their liking. Four Colfax youths were in the group from the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club. The trip down took only about 1 ½ hours and upon arrival at the river there was ice and the ground frozen so the group moved back into the sunshine to eat lunch. Coming back to Colfax on the trail the group took approximately 3 ½ hours.

The Colfax blood reserve has been increased to 32 pints by recent donations by local people. Although the blood bank for Colfax is sponsored by Colfax Post No. 192, American Legion, the blood is available to anyone in the community. R.P. Fawcett is the chairman of the blood bank for the Legion. Recent donors in Colfax and the Auburn bank include Kathy Metcalf, Charles Tavis, Tom Mour, Nello Catelli, Gordon Farrell, Lyle Thompson, Gerald Thompson, Betty Gentry, Bill Gentry, Clarence Noxon, Bill Noxon, Bob Sinnock, Kenneth Barnes and Ed Fontana.

Rain started falling in Colfax Monday evening after 41 days of dry weather and most of the time it was very cold. Several people reported seeing a few flakes of snow in Colfax, and snow was reported falling in Gold Run Monday evening. At higher elevations snow was falling at the rate of one inch an hour. The rain gauge at the Southern Pacific depot Wednesday at 6 a.m. showed the precipitation for 24 hours to be 1.22 inches.