In an earlier article I described the trail from Edwards Crossing downstream toward Purdon Crossing. Now, I’ll give you a bit of the history on one of my favorite Nevada County places, Edwards Crossing Bridge.
How to get there: From Nevada City take Highway 49 north toward Downieville. You have not left the city limits when you need to turn right (uphill) on Coyote Street, and after about a mile, turn turn right again on North Bloomfield Road. If you miss Coyote, don’t worry, in another block, just turn right on North Bloomfield and go uphill aways. Be sure to bear right at the top of the hill to stay on North Bloomfield. If you bear left you will end up on Lake Vera/Purdon Road. You don’t want to do that. So now that you are on North Bloomville, stay on it for about 7 miles until you get to the Edwards Crossing Bridge. Park on either end of the bridge, but on the near side you will find toilet facilities.
Here’s the old illustration of the bridge from the 1970 edition of The History of Nevada County by Thompson and West, originally published in 1880. This rare volume was loaned to me by my Lake of the Pines neighbor, John Ohalloran, who owns a parcel of land up above the Crossing in Lake City. Thanks, John!
Edwards Crossing was first known as Robinson’s Bridge Crossing and was the centerpiece of the old South Yuba Turnpike. William Edwards bought and rebuilt the road and bridge in 1855. Amazingly, the bridge, road, and topography look much the same today.
Edwards Crossing is a popular spot with the locals for swimming and hanging out. Be careful. Over the years several people have drowned here, mostly when they underestimated the force and frigidity of the water. In the spring when the river is high and cold, stay out. Wait for summer.
The Nevada City side of the bridge is also the trail head for one of the most fun, and most scenic, foot paths in the area. Take your camera. It’s about 5 miles to Purdon Crossing where someone can pick you up.
Edwards Crossing is one of five segments of the South Yuba River State Park. The other four are at Bridgeport, Purdon Crossing, the new bridge on Highway 49 near Independence Trail, and a small hard-to-find area at Owl Creek north of Rudd/Holland Road.
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