MLT NOTE: Because of the narrowness and steep sides, for safety and by Folsom Lake State Recreation rule, the Pioneer Express Trail to Avery's Pond is closed to mountain bikes. This is a lovely quiet trail - leave your bike at home and hike it.
The rains made for a nice pool at Avery’s Pond in Folsom. I enjoy the quiet of the pond. The bird calls, buzzing of bees and the plunging of turtles. When the winds are calm you can see perfect reflections of the clouds above.
Picnic tables can be found on two sides of the pond. The tall grass, thick brush and fallen trees have obscured the water line. The banks are steep on three sides. The trail takes you around the pond and back to the trail you came in on.
From Auburn, take Highway 49 south to Lincoln Way. Turn left onto Auburn Folsom Road. Turn left on Shirland Tract Road. Follow it to Rattlesnake Road. Take Rattlesnake all the way into the Folsom State Recreation Area. There is a $12 day use fee. Go out to the Rattlesnake boat ramp and park on the left. The trail is unmarked other than a temporary sign stating the area is closed to motorized vehicles.
The trail was rutted and overgrown on my last visit. Watch out for poison oak in all seasons and ticks. Take the trail straight up the hill to the T. Turn right and you will walk directly to Avery’s Pond. The stroll is maybe 1.2 miles from the parking lot to the pond. Much of the trail is shaded but the valley temperatures have an impact in late spring and summer. Bring plenty of water and take breaks as needed.
If you want a greater challenge, you can start in Auburn and take the Pioneer Express Trail. Other trails lead you in and around Folsom Lake if you want to enjoy the wildflowers and lake views.
This trail is popular with equestrians with a stone watering hole to mark the common occurrence of horses on the trail. Dogs should be kept on a leash.
CLICK HERE to see the original article and photos in The Union newspaper.
Mary West is the author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide. The books are a collection of Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond (Available on Amazon). West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Newspaper Column by the Outdoor Writers Association of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.