Located at the northern end of the Mother Lode, once-rowdy Downieville, settled in 1851, snuggles at the confluence of the Downie and North Fork Yuba rivers. Although technically not part of the Sierra Nevada foothills, its rich Gold Rush heritage puts it together with the many other colorful towns of this region. the town was named for William Downie, whose Kanaka (Hawaiian) helper found gold when the innards of the trout he was cleaning sank to the bottom of his bucket and he realized something was not quite normal here. Rugged, pine-cloaked mountains provide a stunning backdrop to this little town of 350 persons.

This is a great little town for walking, with several old buildings located within a couple of blocks of one another. Stop into one of several small restaurants for a meal, visit the Downieville and Sierra County Museum at 330 Main Street, or peek at the Downie River. Downieville has become a mountain-biking center. Shuttles run bicyclists up to higher elevations, and the bicycle riders can enjoy a long, mostly downhill run with little auto traffic.

This old Methodist church is in the heart of Downieville.
Downieville is a beautiful mountain community with a fascinating history.
Home | Recreation | Lifestyle | Maps | Real Estate | Articles | Advertise Here | Contact Us
Please note: all photographs and other illustrations on this site are © sierrafoothillmagazine.com.

Do not copy without permission.