Trail historian, Donna Williams, and others, placed the National Recreation Trail (NRT) decals along the length of this trail in Folsom Lake and Auburn SRA in the late 1990's under the direction of California State Parks and the land managers for Bureau of Reclamation so the route was finally identified as a National Recreation Trail.
Even though the official name is the Western States Pioneer Express National Recreation Trail, many of us shorten it to the Pioneer Express Trail in the Folsom Lake SRA and the Western States in Auburn SRA, and because of that, the history and its designation is being lost on newer trail users.
For safety, the Pioneer Express section in Folsom Lake SRA is designated as a hiker-horse trail because almost the whole length is quite narrow and has steep drop offs. (see photo) The bicyclists can leave their bikes at home and join the walkers with children and equestrians who love the Western States Pioneer Express National Recreation Trail for its quiet atmosphere and views of Folsom Lake and the north fork of the American River.
You may access this trail from many staging areas in Folsom Lake and Auburn SRA, including some on this sign.