Davis Gulch Trail
• Difficulty Level: Moderate
• Length: 3.3 miles one way
• Elevation: 1,240-1,414 feet
• Scenic coves with fishing and swimming opportunities.
• Plant identification plaques.
• Hikers only, no bicycles or horses.
Starting at the south end of the trailhead, the path meanders in and out of small canyons. The first 1.5 miles of the path is well-shaded and generally level, following an old irrigation ditch.
Plant identification plaques have been placed along the trail. Look for big leaf maple and incense cedar, which are especially graceful trees. Benches noting trail distances have been placed along the trail. Stop and enjoy the view, looking north across the lake towards South Fork Mountain ( 3,447 feet).
After about 2.0 miles, the trail descends to the lakeshore and winds along scenic sandy coves perfect for swimming and fishing . The trail follows the lakeshore for about 1.0 miles, then gently climbs up a ridge to the trailhead at Brandy Creek Parking Lot B.
Historic mining activity can be seen at different locations on the trail. In this area, “coyote holes” were dug by miners in the late 1800s. There was just enough room for one miner to climb in with a pickaxe and a bucket. The gravel, dirt and gold were hauled up by a windlass and carried to a nearby stream for washing. Working inside the hole was the most dangerous type of gold mining - accidents frequently occurred from the caving-in of these diggings, which often did not have any shoring.
Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive. The road forks. Continue on the right fork, crossing over the dam. The trailhead is located on Kennedy Memorial Drive, about a half mile after crossing the dam.
For a one-way hike, take two vehicles, parking one at the south side trail head and drive the other to the north side trail head. Park at the Brandy Creek Beach Parking Lot B, near the restroom.