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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Top 4 New Years Eve Restaurants near Placerville CA

New Years Eve DinnerThese top 4 New Years Eve restaurants near Placerville CA give you a delicious way to ring in the new year. The Sierra Foothills have excellent dining options near Eden Vale Inn. Four of our favorite restaurants are offering special menus for a fantastic, festive night.

Smith Flat House

Smith-Flat-RibeyeThis Placerville restaurant features fresh ingredients from local farmers, winemakers and other food artisans. The Smith Flat House presents a 6-course New Year’s Eve feast! Courses are seared scallop, cream of parsnip soup, salad of little gems, raspberry sorbet, sweet potato gnocchi. For the finale, prime rib or Pacific halibut. Reservations can be made at 530-621-1003.

The Farm TableFarm-Table-Mussels

Placerville CA’s newest farm-to-fork restaurant in Historic Downtown Placerville presents a special New Year’s Eve Prix Fix Menu. Dishes include lobster and artichoke bisques, red romaine and shaved fennel salad, rabbit pot pie, shrimp étouffée, and soufflé. Call them at 530-295-8140 to reserve seats for their early 5pm seating, or their later 8pm seating.

The Independent Restaurant and BarIndependent skirt steak

The Independent is known for its American Fusion style, combining the best cuisine of the many styles of regional American cooking. Make your reservation now for their special New Year’s Eve dinner: 530-344-7645.

Cafe Mahjaic

cafemahjaic-new-years-eve-dinnerChef John Metropulos makes “food with love.” Enjoy a special 4-course New Years Eve dinner in the historic brick buildings in Lotus, built in 1865! The cuisine is New American, a mixture of all ethnic backgrounds.  All food and breads are made from scratch. Meats and grains are organic, and fresh fish from the ocean. Reservations are recommended – call 530-622-9587.

Eden Vale Inn  - Madrone RoomEnjoy the beauty and romance of the Sierra Foothills when you stay at Eden Vale Inn. We are a top rated romantic bed and breakfast, and your luxurious retreat. Call us for more information, 530-621-0901.

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Placerville CA’s Newest Restaurant: Farm Table!

Farm Table Sign and Interior Placerville CA restaurantBrand new! The Farm Table is now one of Placerville, CA’s best casual restaurants, on historic Main Street Placerville. Superb cooking with local ingredients. The Taylor family farm, at nearby Apple Hill, CA, provides the freshest local vegetables and herbs. Farm Table serves hand-crafted meats in sandwiches and salads, and delicious vegetarian dishes too.

Farm Table Charcuterie Platter

For years Kara and Zach Taylor have sold hand-made sausages from their own recipes at local farmers’ markets. Now they serve delicious farm-to-table lunches, dinners, and take-away choices right on Main Street Placerville. Perfect for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.

Farm Table Sign Daily Offerings Placerville CA restaurantBuck Davis is Head Chef and Baker. Very friendly! He uses his own recipes, even for breads, like his homemade pretzel roll and special focaccia. We had a treat with the vegetarian option – their ratatouille on polenta was fantastic! The polenta was deliciously fluffy, with a satisfying crunchy crust from its quick searing. Zach in the kitchen stirs it for 45 minutes, with a fantastic light result. It came with roasted red pepper sauce providing a deliciously smoky flavor. (Note – they do dredge their polenta in breadcrumbs. Makes for a terrific texture, but it’s not gluten-free. Ask for gluten-free options.) The local, organic vegetables were cooked to perfection: zucchini, squash, and peppers.

They always have a vegetarian platter of roasted vegetables, and charcuterie platters with meats, cheeses, and “pickled things.” Other dishes are served daily and nightly.

The soup was also splendid – a red kuri squash soup. It was beautifully swirled with homemade crème fraîche and sprinkled with fresh thyme for the perfect flavor accent.

Farm Table Sign Beers on Tap Placerville CA restaurant

What to drink? How about microbrews on tap? A variety of beer and ale in bottles? Or wine – including Smokey Ridge wines, from their family farm. Fun non-alcoholic drinks include pumpkin pie soda and organic pear sparkling juice.

Buck bakes the Farm Table’s delicious desserts – house made cakes, cookies tarts and torts. They change all the time. You might see a cookie with bacon in it!

FarmTableFrontAreaThe restaurant on Main Street is charming. It is a light and open space, with seating downstairs and up. There’s plenty of free parking on the street and in the public parking lot just a few doors down. Tell them Eden Vale Inn sent you. They know us – we serve their handcrafted sausages at our breakfasts!

The Red Chair Visits Eden Vale Inn, Placerville CA

Red Chair at Eden Vale Inn B&B Placerville CAThe Red Chair recently enjoyed the luxury and beauty of Eden Vale Inn, and nearby Coloma CA and Placerville CA. Red is touring superb bed and breakfasts from coast to coast. After a good night’s sleep, deep soak, and fantastic breakfast at Eden Vale Inn, it went looking for history and good times in Downtown Placerville.

Red Chair at Placerville Entryway 2

Ol’ Red was mighty glad it did not have a neck when it visited “Old Hangtown.” But, the weather being fine, it decided to be brave and see what there was to learn about the California Gold Rush on Historic Main Street, Placerville, CA.

Red Chair at ElDoCo Courthouse
Red Chair was relieved to see that there is in fact justice in Placerville, El Dorado County, California. It took a rest on the courthouse stairs, soaking up the sun.

Red Chair at Placerville Hist Museum The Red Chair loved the fascinating exhibits at the Placerville Historical Museum, in Main Street’s oldest building.

Inside, Red saw what might have been its great-great cousin: a historic cobbler’s chair.
Red Chair at Dedrick's Cheese Placerville and DaisyAfter all that history, Red Chair was ready for a snack. Dedrick’s Cheese, locally owned and featuring locally made cheeses, breads, and sweets, was a wonderful place to get some picnic supplies. Red spent some time gossiping with Daisy the Cow who sees everything that goes on in Placerville.

Red Chair at Mill View Ranch Apple Hill 2

Red Chair headed uphill, east toward the famed Apple Hill region. It saw beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and tree-lined roads. A breath of fresh air. Mill View Ranch sold it the tallest apple pie it ever had seen, and fresh apple cider. A table in the shade made the picnic perfect.

Red Chair at David Girard Vineyards a little tipsy

Heading back toward Eden Vale Inn, Red Chair stopped by David Girard Vineyards for some wine tasting. It picked up a couple of bottles for the chairs back home. Delicious! There was one more adventure on the way back toward Eden Vale Inn.

Red Chair at Marshall Monument Coloma CARed Chair got up close and personal with Marshall’s Monument, at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, in Coloma, CA. This was the site of the gold discovery that spurred the California Gold Rush.

Red Chair at Marshall Monument - closeupSatisfied with a day filled with beauty and history, and full of wonderful food and drink, Red Chair had another fantastic night at Eden Vale Inn. Tomorrow, its adventures continue at B&Bs across the land.

All of Red Chair’s travels can be seen at Rooms at Eden Vale Inn can be seen here. We’d love to have you come visit, too.

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King Fire Update: All is Fine at Eden Vale Inn

Many prior guests have asked how we are doing at Eden Vale Inn regarding the King Fire. We are safe, and our guests are enjoying their time at our Placerville bed and breakfast.

Fall photos of Eden Vale Inn and Apple Hill, Placerville CAThe fire is about 25 miles away at the higher elevations in the National Forest. We have not had much smoke as the winds carry most of it away from us. The fire has not spread much in the past few days and containment seems near. More rain predicted later this week will hopefully mark the end of the fire. We have seen outstanding firefighter response, with crews coming from different states to help.

Eden Vale Inn Placerville CA Fall Sunset Pond
Beautiful fall is here with us at Eden Vale Inn. We are very happy that popular nearby Apple Hill has also stayed safe, and is a great place to visit this harvest time.  For more information, check out our new Apple Hill Webpage.

Eden Vale Inn Placerville CA deck chairs wine viewOur weekends book out pretty fast in the fall, so we recommend coming for our mid-week room specials. Also, come in November if you can. November is that sweet season when fall colors are at their peak, the harvest of apples, pumpkins and grapes is in, crowds have dispersed, autumn rains moisten the foothills, and late summer warmth mixes with the crispness of fall.

We hope to see you soon. Feel free to give us a call at (530) 621-0190.

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One of the Best Restaurants in Placerville, CA – The Smith Flat House

Best Restaurant in Placerville - the Smith House Flat

The Smith Flat House, 3 miles from downtown Placerville, CA, is one of the best restaurants we recommend to our Placerville B&B guests. Their locally sourced food, Italian with a Mediterranean spin, is truly excellent. We can’t even pick out some dishes as our favorites, because all their dishes are delicious! On top of that, the history and ambiance of this top Placerville restaurant makes this is a unique, one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Best Restaurant in Placerville, CA - The Smith House FlatFirst, let’s tell you about this excellent restaurant’s food. The Smith Flat House has fantastic entrees, pasta dishes, and salads, and a great variety of brick oven pizzas. Every week the chef prepares a game special and a sustainable seafood special. The dishes are so good because the ingredients are local and seasonal. The owners, John and Catherine Conforti and Jason Spencer, support local food artisans with the “farm to fork” model that is so popular in the region now.

The Smith Flat House - Placerville Restaurant

They always choose the freshest and highest quality ingredients to make their delicious dishes. They get produce from local, organic farms, and they use local cheeses, honey, and olive oils. Our fantastic El Dorado County wines are the only ones they pour, and they serve beers from nearby breweries. Each month they have a wine-maker and beer-maker dinner – ask us what highlights they will have at the time of your visit to Eden Vale Inn B&B.

What’s coming up on the menu? Autumn food choices will feature apple, pear, roasted and mashed root vegetables including turnip, parsnip, and carrots. There will be lots of mushrooms and other fall crops on the menu, as well as their fabulous roasted beet salad.

Ambiance of a Placerville Best Restaurant

Now, here is a fascinating story – what makes this Placerville, CA restaurant even better is the Smith Flat House’s incredible history. The original building was built by gold miners in the 1830s! The Confortis took apart the original building, board by board. They saved and re-used the old windows, siding, and doors. They got creative with the material – some siding became counters! They also kept the old barn that is a lovely backdrop to the  open-air Courtyard, one of their great dining locations for lunch or dinner.

Inside the restaurant are two dining rooms. The larger one, the Cellar, is a unique historic venue because it has the original gold rush bar that miners used. Yes, you will be enjoying delicious dining at the entrance to the gold mine! You might see its entrance from your seat – safely blocked off, of course! This fabulous restaurant was once a gold mine, on top of an ancient river bed, where water still flows.

The Powder Room is the other dining room. It has granite stone walls, where back in the day, explosives were stored for the gold mining operations. Now, you’ll experience an explosion of fantastic flavors in a unique setting. We don’t know of any other place that has such a one-of-a-kind dining room.

So whether you enjoy lunch or dinner, on the dog-friendly outdoor Courtyard or inside the historic dining rooms, make this Placerville, CA restaurant one of your dining choices. Ask us about their monthly wine-maker and beer-maker dinners, and their special musical performances. Tell them Eden Vale Inn, your romantic Placerville, CA bed and breakfast, sent you!

17th Annual Craft Fair

Every now and then, Placerville likes to get a little crafty with our annual Craft Faire. This year will be Placerville’s 17th annual Craft Faire and will take place on Sunday, August 11th from 8am to 3pm in Historic Downtown Placerville. Main Street will be closed to traffic during those hours to host over 100 artisans from all over the west. Crafts will include pottery, jewelry, woodwork, quilted and decorating items, dolls, garden items, soaps, candles, food and more. And if you happen to be an artisan yourself, it’s not too late to apply to be featured in the Craft Faire. You can download the application here:

Otherwise, admission and parking are free. So whether you enjoy original artisan crafts, or have a craft of your own that you would like to display, there’s no better place to be than Historic Downtown Placerville and no better place to stay in the area than Edenvale Inn.

Placerville Hangtown Car Show

CarShowOne of the best things about staying at Edenvale Inn is the fact that it is located in beautiful, historical Placerville. Though the town itself may be small, what it lacks in size it makes up in spirit and activities. There is always a multitude of events to participate in for the couple who seeks to keep their relationship active and fun. This coming August, on the 22nd from 5PM – 8PM, the city of Placerville will be hosting their Hangtown Car Show with free admission and parking. Perhaps the hubby would like to enjoy some automobile spectating while the two of you have a wonderfully relaxing weekend at Edenvale Inn. This is the perfect place to fit in a variety of different interests, and the car show is only one of the many enticing events Placerville has to offer.

Placerville Banners on Parade

Northern California is widely renowned for the art of wine-making, but what about the art of banner-making? Beginning on June 8th and ending on October 12th, Placerville will be holding its annual Banners on Parade. Artists from the area will produce beautiful masterpieces on banners that will be strung along light poles on Main Street. It has become huge attraction to Placerville since 2005 when artists displayed their work on wheelbarrows and then in 2006 when wine barrels were used as the medium. In 2007, banners were utilized and has since become a smashing hit with locals and tourists alike. It has become an annual focal point for four months out of the year, with everyone looking forward to the artful displays to brighten up Main Street. On October 19th, the paintings will be held up for auction during our Art and Wine Festival. Don’t miss the opportunity to see some wonderfully talented artists proudly display their work while you enjoy a romantic weekend with your loved one at Edenvale Inn.

Summer in Placerville

Summer is just around the corner and the flowers are abloom in the Edenvale gardens. This is a perfect time to get away from it all with your loved one and enjoy the scenery and the sunshine at Edenvale Inn. Not to mention all the fantastic events Placerville has to offer this summer. I’ve already mentioned a few of them, and here’s another that’s coming up on June 8th: The Wagon Train and BBQ rib cook off.

If you’re a fan of some finger lickin’ BBQ ribs, you can’t miss this event. They do it every year and believe me, these ribs are to die for. Besides that, they’ve got live music, a beer garden, historical displays, and western shoot-outs. If you and your loved one love delicious BBQ ribs and a good ol’ country western time, then make sure you don’t miss out on this event. See more information about 2013 Wagon Train & BBQ Rib Cook Off here.

Then come home to scenic Edenvale Inn to kick off your boots and spend some romantic quality time with your loved one.