Trails in Placerville CA – Bicycle the East El Dorado Trail!

El Dorado Trail - Young family on country bike rideThe El Dorado Trail is one of the longest trails in Placerville CA – over 35 miles long. Some sections are Class I and paved, making it easy to bicycle for the whole family. Other sections are dirt trails of medium and difficult grade. It has something for everyone! You can look at an online trail map. We share details below.

El Dorado Trail underpass

El Dorado Trail – the east section, in Placerville CA

The El Dorado Trail runs along old railroad lines that used to take lumber from Camino down to Sacramento. The east section goes from Placerville CA uphill toward Apple Hill. It winds through tall ponderosa pines and incense cedars. The west section of the trail goes from Placerville all the way to Sacramento County.

Placerville Bike Shop - Andrew & Jeff Molinare

Placerville Bike Shop – Andrew & Jeff Molinare

Bike Rental Specials with the Placerville Bike Shop

Eden Vale Inn has a 2-for-1 bike rental special with the Placerville Bike Shop for our guests staying 2 or more nights. We recently rode the trail with the help of the friendly family who runs it.

Placerville Bike Shop exteriorThe Placerville bike shop rents multi-purpose bikes for adults and children. They also rent side carts for small children and bike racks. Just ask, and they will loan you a helmet. They are required for children, and we adults always wear them. Safety first!

This week, we rode on the east section, a Class I paved multi-use trail. Matt in the bike shop told us that people love the views of the meadows and oak trees, and its peaceful quiet. There are not a lot of people on the trail, and it is conveniently close to the bike shop. Here are three places to start you ride, and some intersections to be aware of.

Parking Choice #1 – in Downtown Placerville

Ivy House Parking lot in Placerville CA

We chose to pick up the trail close to central downtown. We exited the bike shop, turned right on Broadway, then left at the T on Mosquito Road. We went just ¼ of a mile farther west on what becomes Main Street. We parked in the Ivy House Lot at Clay Street. The lot is across from the Cozmic Café where you can have a light lunch or beverage before or after your ride. Parking in the lot is free for 2 hours, and $1 thereafter for a maximum charge of $6. You can ride your bike out of this lot heading north, and pick up the trail on your right almost immediately.

Trail entrance near Ivy House Lot

El Dorado Trail Entrance near Ivy House Lot on Clay Street

Parking Choice #2 – Mosquito Road Station Lot

We cycled the trail to the Mosquito Road Station lot. You can also start from there. Parking is free and there are many spaces. You can leave your car there until 11pm. A restroom is available. To drive there, turn right out of the bike shop on Broadway. Travel 0.4 miles to the T intersection at Mosquito Road and turn right. Just beyond the overpass is a gravel parking lot on your left at Locust Ave.

You can ride your bike right out of the lot onto the trail heading east. Here is the trail entrance from the lot – just bike across the street and head onward onto the trail.

Trial entrance near Mosquito Lot

Trial entrance at Mosquito Road station parking lot

At this point, you are in the trees! It is a beautiful ride. We went through the round underpass, and along the quiet trail to Jaquier Road. Pay attention at this merge onto the street, below. If you have children with you, you might want to dismount at the “x” you see below, and cross the street at the crosswalk that is there. Adults can continue to the stop sign and ride across the street, continuing forward.

Jaquier Road merge

Jaquier Road merge

You just have to ride on a right shoulder for a minute or so and then you are back on the trail at the large trailhead on Jaquier Road at Camellia Lane.

Parking Choice #3 – Trailhead on Jaquier Road at Camellia Lane

Jaquier Road trailhead - Camellia Ln

Jaquier Road trailhead entrance at Camellia Lane

The Jaquier Road trailhead has a large paved lot with portable restrooms. It is a good place to park if you want to ride from there to the east trail end, another 4.5 miles uphill. There is ample space for horse trailers. Keep in mind that walkers, joggers, dogs and equestrians may be on the trail. Trail etiquette is to greet a horse and its rider, to reassure the horse. Dogs need to be on leash.

We rode a little farther. Then we had a nice rest and looked at our trail map.

El Dorado Trail rest stop

When we turned around and went back, we whizzed downhill at a great speed! This is a great little stretch for a family or a casual ride as part of a busier day.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about Eden Vale Inn bike specials, local trails, and our lodging specials. Happy cycling!

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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!

Two New Specials – Discounted Rafting Trips and Bicycle Rentals!

Rafting and Bicycle Rental discounts through Eden Vale Inn B&B

While our grounds at Eden Vale Inn B&B are beautiful and peaceful enough that some of our contented guests stay and relax here for their whole visit, others want to explore the beautiful Sierra Foothills, Gold Country, and American River that is all around us. Let us help!

We have partnered with the Placerville Bicycle Shop to bring you 2-for-1 bicycle rentals. We can also arrange for your wild or mild river trip, half- or full-day, with one of several reputable rafting companies — at 10% off! We have water all summer on the South and Middle Forks of the American River. Often your trip starts at just a 5 minute drive from Eden Vale Inn.

Please contact us with 48 hours’ notice so we can match you with the bicycles or rafting trip that is right for you, so you will have a great outing. We love to hear your stories over our breakfast the next day! For more information on these and other discounts, see our Specials Page.

Local Hiking and Mountain Biking

cronanAbout a 15 minute drive from Eden Vale Inn is wonderful foothill hiking and mountain biking.  The foothills don’t get any better, with the area offering views up and down the  South Fork of the American River and views of the Sierra Crest that divides the foothills from Lake Tahoe.  The Crystal Range (Sierra Crest in the area) is often covered in snow into May.   During the summer the foothill temperatures can be hot and you may prefer instead a High Country hike.  Foothill hiking is best October through May.   By December the area is green and accessible and stays free of snow all winter.  Spring is the prime time for a Sierra Foothills hike.   The the wildflowers come out and the foothills are a carpet of green.  More information is available at the inn including local maps.


Our favorite foothill hike at Cronan Ranch is the West Ridge Trail.  This easy 1 ½ hour walk offers great views of the American River and Crystal Range.


Click here for map

Eden Vale Inn, Coloma CA Bicycling

You meet the most interesting people while running the Eden Vale Inn near Coloma, CA.
One of our guests this Thanksgiving weekend is interesting enough with a career in film and television but added to this his son is riding his bicycle from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America ending at Tierra del Fuego.  This is the adventure to beat all adventures.  The father contributed to this adventure by taking his son, as a young boy, backpacking in the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  The son will be completing his journey in the near future.  Take a look at the fabulous photos and great adventure on .