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  1. #1
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    Any Foresthill residents?

    My wife got a job in Auburn and I want to move out of this one trail town of Placerville.

    I am looking in Foresthill, I drove through the Todd Valley streets I guess they are called, super chill neighbors and nice vibes. Other than FHDL trail, what are other rides that are within reach of this area? I figure stuff branches off of McKeon/Drivers Flat. Satellite shows a trailhead and miles of singletrack off of Alton trail. Anything off of Ponderosa between FH and Colfax? Or any other areas? I'm mainly interested in trails within riding distance like 5 miles away or so. Otherwise drivable trails are infinite east of FH I presume.

    Also, any snobby areas I should stay away from? Like horse people? Though mountain horse people are usually more chill in my experiences crossing their paths. I notice some house listings show HOA: $0 meaning they have rules and regulations in that area? I ride dirtbikes and want to be able to camp in my trailer on my own land (imagine that) legally. Every other house had a trailer on it so I think that wont be a problem. Lots of nice people waving out and about. Saw a CXer. Super stoked to move.

    Thanks for any info!

  2. #2
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    Dirtbikes is probably good, there are probably a lot of fireroads in that area to explore on your bicycle to keep you interested. I did the same thing east of Georgetown, even though I was from Camino. From Placerville, you could shoot up relatively quick to that area via the Mosquito and Rock Creek roads. Rock Creek was a big OHV area out there, with some singletrack options even to keep you interested. I've heard of people riding around Michigan Bluff, but I don't know if it's anything other than doubletrack. Auburn isn't that many trails when you ride all of them, but I think you got the benefit of being much closer to them, linking them from the FHDL and Connector, and being a lot closer to Grass Valley/NC and places like Downieville. It looks like Forresthill road goes to Hellhole reservoir eventually, which I know has a trail that is decent (at least was several years back), but that is way way out there and might take longer to get to than Grass Valley.

    There weren't that many options where I was in Norcal, which was odd given the terrain. There was Sky Park and Flemming Meadows, which was just enough to make a good quick getaway, but it was all you had for miles in every direction, unless you did more of the logging-road thing. The highway 50 corridor was void of much singletrack. There were some cool jeep-roads though, riding from Strawberry to Highway 88 was fun, and there were some small loops possible. It just took so long to drive to someplace decent to ride, which given the terrain was mind-blowing.

    If there isn't much singletrack(and I don't think there is), I know there are endless logging roads.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    I've done Sly Park a few times. Auburn once. And the rail trail from Placerville to Shingle Springs a dozen times. I am actually looking forward to the fireroads. Get my gravel grindage on.

    Thanks for your input Jayem!

  4. #4
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    Correction, I think it was the Ellicot trail (just before Hellhole Res.) that I rode. I wouldn't go for it though until you really get familiar with the area, it's way out there and not necessarily worth it IMO.

    Well, there should be no limit to how much doubletrack/logging road stuff you can ride. Heck, a fatbike would even be good for some of that stuff. I'm sure there are some interesting routes that could be put together.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
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    High speed internet?

    I've looked there occasionally. However, it is unclear if they have high speed internet. Couldn't live without that.

  6. #6
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    Look up Sean Allen's posts to find miles and miles of trails from FH.


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  7. #7
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    Why not move to Auburn, where you can quickly access trails in ASRA, Foresthill and up the road in Nevada City?

  8. #8
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    Foresthill is a bit cheaper, and I want land to build the smallest legal home I can build/buy. I hate houses. Heating them, taking care of them, takes so much time and money to maintain. Search Tumbleweed house. Right now I'm in a house with 26 foot tall A frame ceiling that harldy reaches 55' on a cold day with a woodstove. I'm over it, half the world lives in a few hundred sq ft so that's my plan. Or buy land with no neighbors to complain about my house/land lowering their home equity.

    Auburn Woods condos is a second option. Not ideal but cheap and a mile from the trails. I figure FH is trail in all directions, Auburn is trail in some directions.

    I saw Sean Allan's Epic Ride Report. One of few that can be called epic. Thats what BMW motos ride for adventure, and they hardly leave the doubletrack. That guy is a beast!

    Thanks for the comments. I don't want to make the same mistake I made with Placerville. I had more freedom in the Santa Cruz Mountains than I do in Placerville. Weird.

  9. #9
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    The problem with Foresthill is that its canyon in all directions. Basically you've got Toddy Valley, central FH, and they developments strung out along the roads like Mosquito Ridge and Ponderosa. I know it seem like a lot of there there, but most of its on the side of a cliff so its not much good for riding or living on.

    Todd valley is pretty nice. Kind of a large lot suburban development in the forest. I've never read the full CCnRs but from what I gather its not too restrictive. Wouldn't surprise me though if there's limits on RV occupation. That kind of thing is generally regarded as bad for property values which most CCnRs are set up to protect. Lots of retirees. Not much to do for work. Services suck.

    Before you commit to FH I'd look at the communities east on I-80. It has some of the same problems with too much canyon, but I-80 is like a time machine. Its about 20 minutes from Auburn to FH. 20 Minutes up I-80 will put you past Colfax, which means Christina Valley, Applegate, Weimar, and Rollins Lake are all on the table. Colfax has better services than FH. Plus 80 is easy driving while the FH drive will wear out tires and brakes and your patience. Just watch the speed trap between Applegate and Bell Rd.

  10. #10
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    I live in Todd Valley and work from home...no problem with high speed internet as the local telco (Sebastian) offers fiber to the house and standard DSL. Also, there's no CCnRs to worry about as they expired about a decade ago...I would not have moved here if they were still in effect. As far as riding goes, there's plenty of options right out the door and the top of the FHDL is only 4 miles away.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    Plus 80 is easy driving while the FH drive will wear out tires and brakes and your patience.
    You had me till there, hopefully it's in better condition than a few years back. Holes, ruts, debris even, it kind of shocked me how poor of repair it was in, but maybe they've redone it. I was living in AZ at the time, where they were always constantly working on the highways, but they never fell to that bad of a level. It can be very frustrating trying to get into the Roseville area, it kind of does this on 50 and 80, but you can expect traffic jams IF you have to transit this direction. 80 can also jam up at several points on the way down as you get close to Auburn. I wouldn't say it's horrible though for where you get to live, and you can simply not go down there all that much living in one of the communities with decent services.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    I agree, 80 could be better maintained, but maintenance aside, 20 minutes of hilly, curvy takes more out of you and your car than 20 minutes of interstate.

    I talk to people about this a lot. Its part of my job as an appraiser. What you find is that people that move to FH and STAY up there mostly, because they're retired or work from home, tend to enjoy it just fine. But if they're commuting to Auburn or further every day for work or school or social activities or whatnot, the novelty of being out in the forest wears off and they're left with a PITA drive. Where as I find that people that commute down from Colfax tend to be more sanguine about where they've chosen to live. There is no shortage of people that moved into the region thinking FH was the bees knees, and within a couple years move down to Auburn because of the drive. Same thing with Cool and Georgetown. Its takes a special sort of person to persist in those kinds of communities. There are more people that think they're that type than there are people who are actually that type. People make the same mistake moving out on to some place north of Auburn on 49. Having to cross 49 once or twice while you're house hunting is no big deal, but after you live there and have to pull out into that traffic 5 times a day you start to realize how big a risk it is and that pretty oak covered 5ac parcel is suddenly much less important to you than your life and health.

  13. #13
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    Any elevation gain from Auburn will be greatly appreciated, as temp goes. This plus being farther away from the developed sprawl makes a better home altogether. As for riding, all I will say (for now) is there's a crapload of riding further along the Foresthill Divide Rd. I live both north of Foresthill, and Nevada City.


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  14. #14
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    I'd move there and get involved with any effort towards making the amazing Western States Trail between FH and Auburn bike legal (it's completely legal East of FH up to Granite Chief Wilderness). It won't be too long before that's a reality (IMHO), but the "movement" could always use some local folks driving the effort.

    I'm also puzzled as to why the greater Placerville area has no good MTB (that I know of). Must have something to do with everything being private property? The Mayor, Chamber, etc. ought to get on board with recreational tourism.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    I agree, 80 could be better maintained, but maintenance aside, 20 minutes of hilly, curvy takes more out of you and your car than 20 minutes of interstate.

    I talk to people about this a lot. Its part of my job as an appraiser. What you find is that people that move to FH and STAY up there mostly, because they're retired or work from home, tend to enjoy it just fine. But if they're commuting to Auburn or further every day for work or school or social activities or whatnot, the novelty of being out in the forest wears off and they're left with a PITA drive. Where as I find that people that commute down from Colfax tend to be more sanguine about where they've chosen to live. There is no shortage of people that moved into the region thinking FH was the bees knees, and within a couple years move down to Auburn because of the drive. Same thing with Cool and Georgetown. Its takes a special sort of person to persist in those kinds of communities. There are more people that think they're that type than there are people who are actually that type. People make the same mistake moving out on to some place north of Auburn on 49. Having to cross 49 once or twice while you're house hunting is no big deal, but after you live there and have to pull out into that traffic 5 times a day you start to realize how big a risk it is and that pretty oak covered 5ac parcel is suddenly much less important to you than your life and health.
    Yes, but as "boondocks" places go, it's really not all that far, it's also at relatively low altitude so snow problems are rare, it's high enough to be a little cooler than Auburn, so it is kind of a good place to "get away", without actually being all that far away. I lived in a similar situation living near Pollock Pines/Camino, but on the South side of 50, way down a valley, then back up the other side, then way back on a ridge. It was about 30-40 minutes just to get into Placerville. You adapt and the lifestyle isn't that bad. Watch out for things like excessively long commutes if your job gets moved though, that probably wore down my parents a bit, commuting down to Folsom for one of them, and then the school situation, which couldn't have been more screwed up, with strange zoning that had me attending school in Shingle Springs, 2 high-schools DOWN the highway (3rd if counting the one I went to) from where I lived. Those kind of things screw it up pretty bad, but I think that's probably more of a rare occurrence.

    What Foresthill doesn't have going for it is that it's isolated by the canyons, you can't easily travel North and South, as you can in Auburn and some other places. Going significantly "backwards" to go forwards, up to Tahoe. Still, if you like the outdoors, going up to the high country often, it's infinitely better than living in Sac IMO. You might think about the effect on any kids you might raise in the future though, being isolated.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
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    So here's the deal with Foresthill. It's a great community, and I moved here for the recreation opportunities which are numerous. Biking is great, motos are even better. You can X-C ski above China Wall and snowmobiling is excellent as well. Backpacking and Bikepacking are excellent as well. There's plenty to ride here and I can ride for 100's of miles without covering the same terrain, but it can be hard riding, riding around here generally translates to 150-200' of climbing per mile.

    There is miles of singletrack, but most of the riding will be forest roads and moto trails which I like to ride on my bike, some would think that sucks. I very rarely put a bike on a car, there is just no reason to. Not much of a cycling community here, there are folks who ride, just not a cohesive unit. Motos are another story, you will find plenty of folks to ride with.

    That being said Todd Valley is generally populated by older, retired well off white republicans. You see a trailer in every driveway because they are "recreational vehicles" spent with discretionary money and they likely wont take well to you living in one next door. I can agree with that philosophy, not sure why you would want to live in an area where one doesn't care about his or hers property values and how others affect them, but to each his own I suppose.

    Bottom line is this: buy or build a home, keep it up and fit in and you're golden. Live in a trailer and ride your dirt bikes in the front yard and it's likely to be a problem. There are places to build a small home without fear of neighbors and their scrutiny, but you will likely have to head up above town and that adds another 10 minutes to your commute at least.

    I believe there are a few smaller homes in Todd Valley, but most range between 1,500-3000' sq feet. Todd Valley is a nice place to live, you likely saw me on the cross bike(red cannondale) and I couldn't think of any other place I would like to be. It is 20 minutes to Auburn on a very nice road that is generally kept plowed when it does snow. It is however social suicide for a single person and I would imagine, teenagers. I'm on 3 acres here, but most lots are in the 1 acre range. There are a few higher end subdivisions, Monte Verde, Trailhead and Eagles Nest.

    It's always 10 degrees cooler than Auburn, winter and summer. we average nearly 65 inches of rain. It will be dry everywhere but the Foresthill Divide at times, if you don't like the rain, do not move here. Snow in Todd Valley is occasional, just enough to make it pretty and sometimes a pain in the ass, but generally pleasant. Move to town or above and it's a whole other story.

    I've always considered living up the hwy 80 corridor above Auburn to be recreational purgatory, all of the people and trappings of medium sized communities with very little recreational opportunities out your back door.

    We have a pretty decent hardware store, a really good small town grocery store and just about everything you would need in a pinch without going down the hill. No auto parts here.

    I really like it here, I am a contractor and log nearly 30,000 miles a year of windshield time coming and going to my jobs, as of today I am still o.k. with the commute but I can see how that would get to some people. The one bonus of your 20 minute commute is that is really pretty most of the year and the weather and views in the canyon as you drive down the hill can be spectacular.
    Only the curious have something to find.

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  17. #17
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    Awesome info. Thanks guys. I'm still for FH all the way. I understand the highway miles thing, but I have a Subaru and a racing seat so I'm comfy in the turns

    Yeah, that was you Sean, we were sitting in our outback on Arrowhead and Crestline at 5pm after looking at the neighborhood. Do you ride motos too? I have a ktm 300 awaiting some real riding after 2 years of sitting. I also don't agree with loading my bike into a car, it doesn't make sense to me if I can help where I live.

    Thanks again for all the info!

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