Where are Great Hiking Trails near Placerville CA? Cronan Ranch has many!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

HIking American River near Cronan RanchStunning views of the river and of rolling oak hills can be found at the Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, which has many scenic hiking trails near Placerville, CA. The twelve miles of trails include sunny moderate hikes, shaded easy hikes, and a higher exertion “Up and Down Trail.”

Cronan Ranch is open to dogs, bikes, and equestrians. It is open year-round, from sunrise to sunset. Spring has beautiful wildflowers like purple lupines and orange California poppies. The rolling oak hills are beautiful to the eye all year round! Cronan Ranch has two staging areas, and this blog is about the one at Pedro Hill Road in Pilot Hill, California.

Click HERE for map!

Cronan Ranch Hiking Trails Near Placerville, CA

Want to enjoy a riverside picnic? Choose the center trail to take the Long Valley Trail or Cronan Ranch Road (each just under 2 miles), for a gentle meander down to the South Fork American River. There is a restroom facility and picnic tables at the bottom. Come back the same way, or make a loop along the Hidden Valley Cutoff (just over 2 miles). As a bonus, you’ll see the old movie set used in the filming of “Love Comes Softly.”

In the mood for breathtaking views of the river canyon? Take the right trail choice for the West Ridge Trail. Go out and back, or circle around on the West Ravine Trail for an elevated loop. You can also drop down to the river to cool off.

Wherever you hike at Cronan Ranch, you will see a wide variety of wildlife because the park has a diversity of habitats. If you like bird watching, you will enjoy seeing red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, California quail, western meadowlarks, kingfishers, and maybe even bald eagle!

River life includes rainbow and brown trout, Sacramento pikeminnow, and river otters.           

The History of Cronan Ranch's Hiking Trails near Placerville, CA

The 1,418 acre Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park was acquired for preservation and recreation by the American River Conservancy and its partner donors. The ARC donated it to the Bureau of Land Management for public use in 2005. The park now connects with the South Fork American River Trail that connects Greenwood Creek in Lotus to the Salmon Falls reservoir in El Dorado Hills.

Directions from Eden Vale Inn

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, Pedro Hill Staging area, is just 15 minutes from Eden Vale Inn. Turn right out of the inn onto Lotus Road (1/2 mile). Turn left, uphill, toward the towns of Coloma and Lotus (5 miles). At the T intersection with Hwy 49, turn left, or north. Travel about 5 miles and turn left on Pedro Hill Road. The trailhead is about 400 feet ahead, on the right.

Helpful tips

Summers can be hot, and some trails are exposed to the sun. Make sure to bring sun protection and water. Dogs are allowed off-leash, but make sure to control them around horses and bikes. Some seasonal hunting is allowed in parts of Cronan Ranch – Eden Vale Inn guests can check with us for those details. Wildlife lives in this beautiful preserve, so watch your step and your dogs for rattlesnakes in the warm months. Stay on the trails to avoid poison oak. And of course, bring your camera to capture the beauty of your hike!

Eden Vale Inn is near dozens of hiking trails. We have luxurious rooms, deep soaking tubs for couples, and spa massage treatments. Check out our rooms - we'd love to have you stay with us.

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