The Infamous Johnson Cut-Off Trail

August 28, 2016

Follow the path of John Calhoun “Cockeye” Johnson.

The Gold Rush created a demand for crossings of the seemingly impassable Sierra Nevada range so Americans could reach the gold fields. John Calhoun Johnson surveyed and opened the route to traffic in the spring of 1852. Finding and mapping the whole route of Johnson’s Cut-Off became a passion for  “Cockey.” His great-great granddaughter Ellen Osborn has worked with her husband Ford on this project for 30 years.

Beginning in 2008, speaker John Winner, encouraged by Ellen and under the auspice of USFS and their archeologists, has led enthusiastic members of Oregon California Trails Association (OCTA) through forestland and thicket – clearing, marking and mapping the 1852-era Johnson’s Cut-Off trail for posterity.