The 6 Best Ways to Enjoy the South Fork American River

Rafting on the South Fork American River with Eden Vale InnWhen you visit Eden Vale Inn, odds are high that you will want to visit the South Fork American River. It’s in our back yard, and we have water all summer long! Here are the six best ways to enjoy the flow.

  1. Go white water rafting! Eden Vale Inn offers a 10% discount on your trip with one of the many reputable companies in town. What’s great is that there are many options, from relaxing to thrilling! You can take a shorter, mellow “mid-river” trip that is suitable for children as well as the quiet-at-heart. Or choose a half-day trip with rapids for adventurous fun. For even more excitement, go on a full-day trip that will both soothe and thrill you as you raft through calm and white water! Longer trips include lunch for that full-day experience.
  2. Hop in a kayak! The South Fork American River is great for both new and experienced kayakers. We can direct you to private lessons, group classes, and local outfitters for your boat and gear. The nearby River Store even has an outdoor pool where you can take a kayak roll class.
  3. Walk and splash with your dog! Eden Vale is pet-friendly, and there are many riverside areas your pup can catch that stick or swim around with you. We have information about local parks, including Henningsen Lotus Park and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, which have beach areas that allow well-mannered dogs.
  4. Wade with the kids! Families, anyone wanting a gentle stroll, and those in wheelchairs can all enjoy the Dave Moore Nature Area. Its path slopes gradually to the river under shady trees. Head back up after the splashing – or, if the kids have a lot of energy, you can do the whole loop once or more – it’s about a mile around.
  5. South Fork American River Hiking Cronan RanchTake a longer hike or ride! Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park borders the South Fork American River and has 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking and bird watching. Even longer, the South Fork American River Trail appeals to even the heartiest hiker. It’s 20 miles long, connecting Coloma-Lotus with the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. It always overlooks the river, and at places dips down to it for that refreshing splash.
  6. Be prepared! The South Fork American River is dam-controlled, which means its water is released on a schedule – and sometimes more often. Be alert at all times of the water level rising or falling, and learn about the schedule before you set out in your boat to have the best run possible. For your protection, life vests are required by law when floating in the river. Make sure to wear sun protection, too, and to bring drinking water and a snack. Those simple steps will help you enjoy the beautiful South Fork American River. Have fun!

Hiking near Eden Vale Inn Bed and Breakfast El Dorado County near Placerville

Coloma-Lotus News and Information
Monday, March 16, 2009
South Fork American River Trail Nears Completion

Imagine being able to travel on foot, bicycle or horse from the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area all the way to the rural beauty of the South Fork American River in the Coloma-Lotus Valley. Imagine doing so on a trail dedicated to recreation and the enjoyment of oak woodlands, conifer, chaparral, and the riverside.

That long-held hope is now on its way to being a reality. The final land parcel that completes the 20-mile route (see a PDF map) was sold by a couple who decided to protect its natural habitat for the public to enjoy. Funds that purchased it were provided by the State Wildlife Conservation Board, the State Resources Agency’s River Parkways Grant Program, and over 400 private donors. All this, plus the work that had been done on the rest of the trail route, was coordinated by the American River Conservancy (ARC).

The 20-mile trail has been 20 years in the making. Its completion is a source of great excitement for those who have been hoping and working for it since 1989, as well as the many who have come along since then and enjoy the prospect of traveling so far in the richness of nature in their own back yards.

Funds are still needed to bring the trail into reality. The ARC estimates it will cost $175K to complete trail construction and provide a few pedestrian bridges at stream crossings and interpretive signage at the trailheads. The official ribbon cutting is planned for the late spring of 2010. Contributions to the South Fork American River Trail Campaign can be sent to: The American River Conservancy, P.O. Box 562, Coloma, CA. 95613. For further information regarding trail project donations, please contact: David Morrill, ARC Marketing and Development Director at (530) 621-1224.

The completion of the South Fork American River Trail brings an even greater dream closer to reality. With regional coordination, it could become a key segment within a larger regional trail that would span the approximately 50 miles from downtown Sacramento (Sutter’s Fort) to Coloma (Sutter’s Mill). Parcel by parcel, this dream is moving to reality.