Whitewater River RaftingNews & Blog

South Fork American River Hiking

There are many hiking trails on and around the South Fork American River. If you are spending additional time in the Coloma area, or you have non-rafters in your party, there are other activities in the area (see South Fork American River area information), but in addition there are several hiking trails along the South Fork American River – many our camp / meeting location in Lotus. The trails vary from very easy to more strenuous and from 1 mile to 12 miles.

Dave Moore Nature Trail:

1 mile loop trail to river. Right out of Rivers Bend, towards Placerville. Approx 1 mile up on right with cobblestone wall.

Loops from the parking lot trailhead to the South Fork American River and back again passing through several habitat types. About half of the trail is constructed to be fully accessible to people with wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.

Cronan Ranch:

12 miles of trails. Left out of Rivers Bend, towards Auburn. Near Pilot Hill. The Park trails are open for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and other passive recreation. The borders of the Park follow the South Fork American River, Highway 49, Pedro Hill Road and private lands. The Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset year round. There is a wide variety of terrain to choose from, including gently sloped to challenging hills, oak woodland and gentle riverfront trails.

Magnolia Ranch:

Marshall Gold DSHP (Monument and Monroe Ridge):

3.5 mile loop trail. Right out of Rivers Bend, approx. 2.5+ miles across the bridge on right (parking on left).

The Monroe trail connects Marshall Monument with the North Beach picnic area, at opposite ends of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. The southern end of the trail climbs 300 feet; the northern end climbs 400 feet. Nearly 1 mile is on top of a ridge. The trail runs through natural areas for its entire length.

Gerle Loop Trail:

A 2.5 mile loop trail near Pilot Hill. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Dogs friendly.