“A pleasant, easy trail to a popular swimming spot and uniquely see-sawing cable bridge”
— Megan W
River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers
Short, easy trail with good access make this a low-stress outing. Kids will enjoy walking over the rushing Merced river on the skinny Swinging Bridge and swimming if conditions permit.
From the tiny parking area at the end of N. Chilnualna Falls Road, head slightly uphill and towards the southeast. Soon the wide, forested trail begins to descend gently until it reaches the river. Following along the river on the level trail, you'll soon arrive at the trail's namesake feature and cross the sturdy, but certainly mobile wooden bridge.
The highlight of this trail is the swimming. There are several chilly pools to splash about and wade in here, but as always use caution. There is also a natural rock waterslide (just upstream of the bridge) that some people scoot down if the water levels are just right. This is a great spot on a hot day to relax and cool off. Bring a picnic and enjoy! Retrace your steps back to the parking area.
The best place to look for wildflowers in the early summer is on the southern side of the river past the bridge.