The American River Conservancy (ARC) has helped to conserve land along the river and Coloma-Lotus Valley for public recreation, including but not limited to hiking, cycling, and equestrians.
Horse enthusiasts travel from all over Northern California to use the 25 plus mile trail system called the South Fork American River Trail. This breathtaking trail winds through heavily wooded oaks, riverfront habitats, rolling hills, and chaparral canyons, from Greenwood Creek to Salmon Falls Bridge. This trail also links to existing trails that are a part of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.
There are several trailheads located along Highway 49 near Coloma and Lotus with varying difficulties and gradients. The two trailheads that are conveniently located off of Highway 49 with ample horse trailer parking are Magnolia Trailhead, located across from Everhart Vineyards, and Cronan Ranch, which is located between Coloma and Pilot Hill. Another park that was recently opened by ARC in May 2018 is the Acorn Creek trailhead on Salmon Falls Rd. Cronan Ranch trailhead is not easily visible from the highway but is one of the more popular trailheads. Olmstead Loop is located in the town of Cool, CA near the firehouse.
The trails are popular with local recreation junkies and equestrians and are shared with humans, canines, and the land’s natural inhabitants, so expect to “share the trails” while you are riding!
The land and trails that have been preserved have also served as movie sets to several popular movies, such as Memoirs of a Geisha and Anna and the King. So, don’t forget your camera because the beautiful scenery found in our special valley is sure to leave a lasting impression on you!