American River Conservancy officials closely collaborated with Folsom/Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition and volunteers at REI in Folsom on the project. More than 75 volunteers from all the organizations worked together this past year to complete the trail system.
Another bike trail in the works:
A future trail project is a 13.5-mile dirt trail in the Crystal Basin that SMUD is building for the USFS that will wrap around the entire south shoreline of Ice House Reservoir. The trail, funded entirely by SMUD, is being designed by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions team and the draft design is currently under review. Construction is planned to begin in 2022. Go here to see more about SMUD Crystal Basin recreation area.
Dillon Brooks, the stewardship manager at the ARC, said the new trail system is referred to as the Salmon Falls Ranch Connector Trail and it, along with other trails built off it, are great for the community.
“This new stretch provides a safe connection from the South Fork American River Trail to Folsom State Recreation Area,” said Brooks. “It eases congestion and parking concerns at the Skunk Hollow and Darrington parking lots. This connection bypasses a dangerous section of the Darrington Trail, making it safe and more family friendly to users.
“Our biggest challenge in creating new trails is always fundraising because other agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, State Parks or Bureau of Land Management don’t always have the resources to provide the labor,” he continued.
The new Pilot Hill trails, though connecting to public lands managed by California State Parks through a contract with the Bureau of Land Management, were built on Salmon Falls Ranch, which is owned by ARC — purchased from the Bacchi family through two grants in 2010 and 2011.
Brooks said BLM, USFS and California State Parks have always been great to work with in protecting open spaces and creating recreation opportunities in the area. “The trails like this one, because they connect to public lands, require approvals on things like environmental impacts,” he said.
The new recreational trails that opened Dec. 1 are much closer to populated areas like El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park.
“They provide a way for people to remain active and healthy, while gaining a better appreciation for the environment. These are also benefits to the county,” he explained. “Outdoor recreation is also big business so the more opportunities you provide for outdoor recreation, the more people will travel from outside of the area to use the county’s recreation assets, which benefits local businesses and the county economy in general.”
“The El Dorado Community Foundation also pledged $10,000 and the Latrobe Fund gave us a matching grant of $10,000. .
In the future new trails are being planned by ARC programs. Members will also work with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District on plans for a bike park and plan to host or participate in several local events next year, including a bike demo day with California Expedition and the USFS on the trails outside Georgetown.
To learn more about the American River Conservancy visit arconservancy.org.
GO HERE to read the complete article about this trail in the Mt. Democrat newspaper.