This stretch of the Sugar Pine Railroad grade runs along the South Fork Stanislaus River from Fraser Flat Road to Old Strawberry Road. At around three miles oneway and very little elevation gain, it’s an easy hike or bike ride for just about anyone. The trail starts out as a wide fire road at Fraser Flat but turns into narrower double track and single track the further along you go. The S Fork is accessible from the trail for most of it’s length if you’re looking for that quiet, secluded fishing spot or just want to quietly take in the beauty of the Stanislaus River and surroundings. As with all sections of the Sugar Pine Railroad Grade, this stretch is prohibited to any motor vehicles. There is ample parking at the trailhead along Fraser Flat Rd but this area gets a little crowded in the summer months due to it’s close proximity to Fraser Flat Campground and ideal fishing spot for anglers. An alternative is to drive to Strawberry, park and hike the opposite direction.
Fraser Flat Rd is closed seasonal (usually Nov to May) so check with the Summit Ranger District (209) 965-3434 for area status.
To reach the trailhead on Fraser Flat Rd head up Hwy 108 and turn left at the Fraser Flat/Spring Gap turnoff just before the town of Cold Springs (there’s a sign indicating where to turn). Drive three miles to the bridge and park. Alternatively you can continue on Hwy 108 and turn left on Old Strawberry Rd just past Cold Springs. Drive for two miles and park at the turnout on the left. The trailhead is just before the turnout with a sign indicating where.