Grass Valley, Calif. – The Penn Gate Parking Lot and a portion of the Hard Rock Trail near the Sand Dam at Empire Mine State Historic Park will be closed starting Thursday, October 6 through Saturday, November 5 for maintenance work associated with the Sand Dam spillway. All other trails and park amenities will be open during that time.

Empire Mine Temporary Oct 2022 Trail Closures
Empire Mine Temporary Oct 2022 Trail Closures

The Penn Gate Parking Lot will be closed as well as entrances to the Hard Rock Trail at these locations:

  • Penn Gate
  • Stacey Lane
  • Empire Street Trail
  • Osborn Hill Loop Trail 
  • Osborn Loop Crosscut Trail 

It is very important that the public plan accordingly and adhere to posted closure signs for safety during this construction activity. State Parks thanks the public for their patience and understanding during this temporary closure.

California State Parks and Newmont have hired a contractor to conduct maintenance activities near the existing inlet pipe culvert within the Sand Dam and below the spillway that intersects the Hard Rock Trail. Construction of small wire baskets containing rocks located near the inlet will help prevent potential debris blockage from logs and loose brush that could travel to the pipe culvert inlet during a storm event. Rock will be placed at the spillway outlet where erosion has occurred. A limited number of trees must be removed to provide access to work areas. 

This work is in collaboration with, and at the request of, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board). The Sand Dam area was a part of the historic mining operations at the former gold mine. California State Parks and Newmont are working to address Empire Mine State Historic Park environmental conditions, and this work helps advance those goals.