Hidden Falls trails roll forward!
Placer County's Hidden Falls Trails Expansion Project was approved at the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 8th. This project will eventually give access to an additional 30 miles of multi-use public trails through 2,500 acres of spectacular oak woodlands and scenery on permanently protected Placer Land Trust Preserves, with new trailheads and parking.
We thank all of you who supported this project, from the original landowners who had a vision for conservation and recreation to those who recently shared their wishes with the County Supervisors. One of those supporters, John Taylor, expressed his excitement about the future of this project: “Fourteen years ago, my family sold the Taylor Ranch to Placer Land Trust for the specific purpose of providing public recreational access to the property. The public is now on the cusp of reaching that goal: access to a fabulous recreation area that will be an outstanding resource for Placer County.”
The next step of this project will be to create public access to Placer Land Trust’s Big Hill Preserves. The County has recently been awarded more than $3M in State grant funds to build a parking lot and trailhead off Bell Road. The County estimates this will take 2-3 years to build. In the meantime, we will continue with our current activities (within our COVID-safety protocol) that allow the public to visit these beautiful lands— stay tuned for more guided hikes, family-friendly events, volunteer days, and more.
We hope that everyone will rest assured that Placer Land Trust's lands will always be subject to conservation goals and restrictions, including continued agricultural use and habitat protection. In line with that vision, we plan to continue grazing on the preserves for land management; the trail system on our lands north of Hidden Falls will be much less dense than at Hidden Falls Regional Park; and recreation on our lands will retain a “backcountry” feel. As in nature, balance is the key to any successful community. We are optimistic that we can find balance in the use of these lands — including the protection of natural habitats and wildlife; agricultural uses that benefit ranchers, our local economy, and forest health; and meeting the needs of people to get outdoors for their physical and mental health.
Planning for the future isn’t always easy, but we think future generations will be very glad we did!
--Placer Land Trust Steward