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If you're looking for quiet solidarity amid the beautiful, rugged scenery of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this trail is for you. The Hull Creek segment of the West Side Railway line is certainly off the beaten path, and it's quite possible you'll have the entire trail to yourself. Make sure to bring a good map and your sense of adventure, as finding the trailhead isn't easy and in places the railroad corridor itself isn't obvious even when you're on it.
The trail is passable by mountain bike but be prepared for a rough ride. You'll also need to carry your bike through the trail's several washouts and over fallen trees on the trail. The trail is great for hiking, but it's 8 miles one-way, so make sure you come prepared and arrange for a pick-up.
The trail begins near Hull Creek, in the heart of Stanislaus National Forest. As with the Sugar Pine Railway Trail, interpretive signs about the railroad history are posted along the Hull Creek trail. At the Mi-Wok Ranger District office in Mi-Wok Village, you can pick up a brochure that corresponds to the tour signs. You will want to pick up a map while you are there: one of the trail and one of the general area.
Park and begin at Signpost 2, site of Camp 24, which was once a busy hub for the railroad. At about 2.5 miles, you will reach posts 4 and 5, which point out various relics from the railroad's past. Just beyond this point, the trail emerges into a meadow called Boney Flat. Post 11 marks the Trout Creek Spur, which will lead you to the trail's endpoint at Camp Clavey. This last section, about 1 mile long, climbs steeply then evens out as it approaches the intersection with Forest Road 3N01 at Camp Clavey.
For more adventure, you can take a side trail to the old Clavey River Trestle before the trail leads you up toward Camp Clavey, At post 11 near Buffalo Landing, head toward the river (right) on a side trail. A 75-foot trestle once stood here and burned down long ago. Its foundation still remains though, a testament to the rich railroad history of the Sierra Nevada.
Parking is available along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.
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