Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Greenwood Creek Trailhead, South Fork American River/BLM

 I can finally say that I've hiked from all 4 trailheads on this sprawling property: Cronan Ranch, Magnolia Ranch, Skunk Hollow, and today, Greenwood Creek.

Greenwood Creek is mostly a place for kayakers to put in or maybe take out. The parking is free, which is not the case at any of the boat areas in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. And there is a pit toilet. It is off of Hwy 47 downstream from Lotus.

I had read that there was a 1 mile trail here suitable for families. So a friend and I went exploring.

As we hiked along, the trail eventually became quite familiar-looking. Which made sense when I realized that we had hooked up with the loop trail that starts from the Magnolia Ranch trailhead.

We kept on until we came to a large rock covered with interesting flowers.

 Admired a 3 ft long garter snake (beautiful!), then decided we were tired and turned around. I think we hiked for about an hour total. I'm slowly gaining fitness and my friend has not been doing a lot of hiking lately so this was good for both of us.

The only thing marring the lovely landscape was Scotch Broom - a non-native extremely aggressive weedy blight.

My flower identification book still has not arrived, so here's some more pictures of flowers-that-shall-remain-nameless. Ok ok. Lupin, poppies, some asters lurking about.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New York Creek, again

New York Creek, again

I've strolled on this trail before (post here), and today I decided to give the dog a treat and take a very short walk on the trail again.

Bonnie-the-Dog is elderly and has quite a bit of arthritis so she does not come hiking with me any more. We do walk every day around the neighborhood - steep hills but nice flat asphalt. So, a flat dirt trail is a nice change.

Like last week's hike it was pretty muddy since we got more rain yesterday. Not that I'm complaining - I really don't want a summer of severe drought and early fire restrictions.

We had the trail absolutely to ourselves, just some scattered shoe-prints in the mud.

I let the dog tow me along until she stopped pulling so hard, taking that as my cue to turn around.

Now, sitting at home, listening to the wind howl outside (high wind advisory today - gust to 50mph (no, I'm not kidding) possible) I'm glad The Dog and I got out for even a short walk.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Folsom Lake SRA: Pioneer Express and other trails

Monday, April 1st

Usually, I title my post little-big, but today I sort of wandered around on the north shore of Lake Natoma, so we'll just say I was hiking in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and big-little.

Sadly, due to budget problems, several of the park access points are closed for good. The Nimbus Dam Overlook is one.

However, it is possible to park nearby and walk in. Your choices are the Fish Hatchery, crossing Hazel Blvd at the bottom of the bridge, then walking up the upstream side to the entrance road, just past the end of the bridge. Or you can find some parking in a nearby neighborhood off of Hazel and try that. (This is Hazel Blvd., off of US 50, east of Sacramento).

There is one trash can left up in the parking lot, and this informational sign

By peering through the chainlink fence, you can get a great view down to the Nimbus Dam.

I started today near the bottom left corner of this map. eventually walking quite far up the second green vertical blob, then back along the river's edge.

From the top of the bluffs, you can get views!

and on trails you can see signs of critters:

Deer on the right and my shoe print on the left

It is pretty easy to imagine the area uninhabited.

After winding my way down the bluffs and to river level.

The ghostly smudges are a effect of the sun hitting my lense at an angle. I kind of like it.

A lot of the trails on the bluffs are in shade, like this wide spot coming down from the closed overlook parking lot.

I did another youtube video (linky linky linky here)