The Twain Harte Ditch, or officially Section 4 Ditch, is part of the Tuolumne County Ditch System which is owned by the Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD). The Twain Harte ditch originates from the Main Tuolumne Ditch near the former Sierra Pines Disc Golf parking area off of South Fork Rd and eventually feeds into the Soulsbyville Ditch on the south side of Hwy 108 above Twain Harte. The ditch system was built by the miners back in the mid 1800′s to supply water to numerous mining operations throughout the area. Today the water ditch supplies water to residences and businesses as well as offer recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking and jogging.
There are two sections of the Twain Harte Ditch connected by a 1/2 mile portion of the Sugar Pine Railroad Grade. The first section is about 2.8 miles long and the second section is about a mile long. The first section, S. Fork to Gurney Station, starts off of Quaker Ln, south-east of the disc golf parking area. Park in the designated parking area or along S. Fork or Quaker Ln. The parking area is usually closed during the winter months but during the months it is open the gate is locked at dusk so keep this in mind if you are parking here.
After about 1/2 mile the trail crosses over Middle Camp and continues on.
The rest of the first section continues on for about another 2.3 miles and eventually ends up at a wooden staircase. Keep in mind the trail passes through private property so be respectful of the property owners, stay on the marked trail and pick up after your pets.
If you wish to continue on climb up the wooden staircase and cross over Gurney Station Rd. You will see an information sign for the Sugar Pine Railway. Just before the small flume there is a steep foot path leading up to the Sugar Pine Railroad Grade. Another option is to cross over the flume at your own risk, this will also lead you to the Sugar Pine Railroad Grade.
Follow the SPRR Grade for about 1/2 mile. You will pass the old Black Oak School (currently Twain Harte Bible) and eventually the RR Grade will bisect East Ave. If you wish you can continue on to the second section of the Twain Harte Ditch Trail (East Ave to Lava Rd) by crossing over East Ave.
The Marker for the ditch trail reads “SD Trail”, I believe this stands for Soulsbyville Ditch Trail since the Twain Harte Ditch eventually feeds into the Soulsbyville Ditch but don’t quote me on that. From East Ave the trail continues along the Twain Harte Ditch for another mile or so and eventually ends up at a big clearing that appears to be a lava cap. Lava Rd begins on the other side of this clearing.