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  1. #1
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    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)

    I've been pretty bored with the same old Granite Bay, Folsom and EDH dirt lately. When thinking about nearby places to go that aren't just Auburn, I realized I hadn't hit the old train track trail in a while. So I went out last weekend to check out a section I hadn't been on before (White Rock Rd. to Latrobe Rd.), and also rode from South Shingle to the Weber Creek Bridge (and back).

    It's really riding great these days... and this spring-like weather makes it really nice right now. I know people have complained about flat tires out there before, but I still run tubes and had no flats (neither did my fellow riders).

    So, if you're looking for a change of scenery, now's a good time to hit the El Dorado Trail.

    Approaching Deer Creek bridge (West of Latrobe Rd.):


    Deer Creek bridge pano:


    When the trail leaves the rail bed, it's really good mountain biking:


    Once in a while, they even run some mini-trains out there:


    This creek crossing was a little deep... bridge was probably rideable, but the penalty for fail would be big:


    After Missouri Flat Rd., the trail is now a Class 1 paved "trail". It's about a mile to the Weber Creek Bridge:


    ...which looks a lot different than it used to (and safer):


    I hadn't been East of Missouri Flat Rd since it was paved, but did realize a pretty fun singletrack section had been replaced by the paved trail


    We didn't go past the bridge, but I understand the singletrack to Forni Rd. is great now. On the way back, I admit we stopped at a nearby taqueria and had a helmet full of chips and salsa:


    If you haven't been out there in a while, there's a new(?) section of trail above the neat cut (where you feel like you're in the Wild West), close to Redhawk Casino. I'd recommend riding Eastbound on the tracks and Westbound over the hill:


    Plenty of steep up and downs throughout the trail corridor:


    Overall, lots of good singletrack


    Go out and get some!

    (more pix from a 2010 thread)

  2. #2
    Ultra Ventanaphile
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    Cool pics, And where did you park and pick up the trail for the White Rock Rd section?
    I've done ElDo trail from Shingle Springs up to Forni. (There's some nice off shoot singletrack on the Class 1 section so it's not all Class 1) thanks.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  3. #3
    NedwannaB
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    Great TR Empty! Always cool seeing your "A" typical ride adventures.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    where did you park and pick up the trail for the White Rock Rd section?
    Right at the tracks on White Rock. You'll ride a paved road that parallels the track (on the west side) for a little over a mile, then it's nothing exceptional to write home about for another two miles before you start getting into some scenery and hills. You can probably ride straight out of In & Out on E. Bidwell, but I don't know if you'd be on pavement (Placerville Rd.) or dirt/rocks along the rail between Hwy 50 and White Rock.

    This has just the White Rock - Latrobe section:


    Thx Jmac
    Last edited by Empty_Beer; 03-01-2013 at 10:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Empty- Where did you stop for food and was it bike/cyclist friendly (you could keep an eye on your ride)?

  6. #6
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    We stopped a tiny bit West of the trail at Missouri Flat Rd... which is where the dirt changes to pavement. The taqueria we went to has outdoor seating (fenced in) and plenty of room to park bikes while you eat. I kept an eye on the bikes, but wasn't truly worried about them getting jacked.

  7. #7
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    My office is located in the Shingle Springs Industrial Park and I ride that trail to P-Ville a couple of times a week. It's a fun night ride trail. I've seen some tweekers on the trails approaching P-Ville and been chased by a couple very angry dogs. Next week I plan to head in the other direction to check that part of the trail. Nice pictures.

  8. #8
    more skier than biker
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    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    You can probably ride straight out of In & Out on E. Bidwell, but I don't know if you'd be on pavement (Placerville Rd.) or dirt/rocks along the rail between Hwy 50 and White Rock.

    :
    This morning I rode from my house in Folsom over to In and Out then then to White Rock Rd to do some exploring on the Eldo Trail. From In and Out to White Rock Rd you have to either ride the pavement (Old Placerville Rd). Or ride directly on the train tracks. I choose the train tracks and while doable I was sure glad I had my FS (Anthem 29er). Next time I'll just take the road....there's no shoulder, but there's hardly any traffic on that little connector rd.

    The trail is pretty sweet in a "wow I can't believe I've been riding here for 10 years and am getting to check out a new area/ride" kind of way. I was surprised to see how well bedded in the single track bits are but this ride could use a lot more traffic. Still, I saw lots of bike tire tracks in the soft mud....but it was nice to be the only one out there.

    I rode all the way along Latrobe Rd to where the trail crosses down near the actual town of Latrobe. It then switchbacks up and begins to parallel South Shingle Rd and head East. Trail was a bit harder to follow here but it is there. I rode it a few more miles before veering off to take make a loop out of some country paved roads back to Folsom (in retrospect I should have just done and out and back).

    Here are my Strava tracks:


    In any event I'm really glad this trail is here. The Folsom / El Dorado Hills riders really need new and different options so hopefully more people will start riding this. You can rack up a TON of dirt miles if you ride this all the way to the end as an out and back: El Dorado Trail | Trail Map
    Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 03-10-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)

    Rode from just past Cothrin Ranch Rd. to about a mile past Greenstone Rd.
    38 mile out and back 2800 ft elevation gain.
    I agree with Ron, it's cool for what it is, but isn't a must do. It's a great way to log dirt miles and nice as an alternative to the trails you're getting bored of.
    My track from today -

    https://www.strava.com/rides/43962461

    Some pics

    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1362966387.346231.jpg

    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1362966410.805037.jpg

    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1362966450.768666.jpg

    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1362966472.606380.jpg

  10. #10
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    Looking to hit this trail up in the next week or so. Can anyone give me a better description of how to catch it from Folsom? I get the Placerville rd. to White Rock part (I'll be taking the road on my rigid SS, NOT the tracks); but what comes next? Is there a trail head at/near the intersection of Placerville rd, White Rock and Payen? Are there any marking? Any and all guidance is appreciated as I would hate to drive down from Auburn only to ride out to White Rock, Richard around for a bit and then head back and drown my frustration in a double-double animal style.

  11. #11
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    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)

    First off doing this ride on a rigid SS is going to suck balls. My friend rode a carbon hardtail and stood and pedaled the last 3-4 miles because his back was killing him. Another friend rode this past weekend on a full rigid and the title on his strava El Dorado Trail sucks on fully rigid.

    I parked just past Cothrin Ranch Rd. on Latrobe Rd. There is a gravel pullout there. The trail start to the left of the tracks dead ahead of where you park.

  12. #12
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    Go down Payen road about a mile or so past white rock. You will see a model airplane field on the right. The trail head will be on the left. It you have a hard time finding it, just ride on the tracks starting at the airplane field and you will see it eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.O.B. View Post
    Can anyone give me a better description of how to catch it from Folsom? I get the Placerville rd. to White Rock part but what comes next? Is there a trail head at/near the intersection of Placerville rd, White Rock and Payen?

  13. #13
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Awesome! I especially like the pana pic of the bent rails! How does the train make it around that bend???

    I would love to do this ride, as I'm a little out of shape and it looks like it would be fun. If you do it again soon, let me know!

    Gary
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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  14. #14
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    For a first time visitor, I recommend starting off of S. Shingle Rd here (by the trains), and riding up towards Placerville.... going as far as you'd like, then returning.... kinda like this person's strava. After getting that under your belt, exploring West towards Latrobe Road and beyond is another option, but I don't believe the trail is as "beaten in" as it is to the East.

    Keep in mind that the packed-in trail meanders along, above and below the actual rails. It's easy to be riding along the rails and miss a side shot (aka the fun stuff). Just riding along the rail isn't exactly exciting... and yeah, doing so on a fully rigid bike can be a little rough. I find all the trail that's off the rail bed to be pretty darn fun though, even on a HT!

    Tame:


    Fun:


    FP and anyone else: I could be talked into riding there this Sunday. Lemmeno!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullhorn View Post
    Go down Payen road about a mile or so past white rock. You will see a model airplane field on the right. The trail head will be on the left. It you have a hard time finding it, just ride on the tracks starting at the airplane field and you will see it eventually.
    THIS is just what I was looking for. Zooming in on google maps I can see the airplane landing strip and the tracks directly across.

    First off doing this ride on a rigid SS is going to suck balls.
    Ha, that is some funny SH!# And now, of course, you know I absolutely must do it. Like most single-speeders, I am not to bright, plus most are riding this on a hardtail anyway, so I am nothing special. I do have a front-susp. 1x9 that I try and ride every few months, but it is currently in pieces so that is out. Plus, I really don't notice much difference when I had my Reba compared to riding rigid. I find riding rigid is actually better as my entire body gets this vibrating type massage throughout the ride. Keeps the muscles loose, very relaxing, and I haven't lost any fillings yet.

    Sounds like if I am dead set on riding the whole trail, the best thing would be to start at Shingle and do an out and back toward White Rock at the beginning or end of my ride. The thought of ending the ride and seeing that In-n-Out sign sounds pretty appealing, but then I will eat anything after a ride...and they don't serve beer, so there's that.

    Was planning on riding the Auburn Trifecta this Sunday, but that would be three weeks in a row...might be time for something different. I can easily be coerced into riding up to Placerville, and it might be nice to have a guide. So, Mr. Beer What time do you thinkin' for Sunday?

  16. #16
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    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    FP and anyone else: I could be talked into riding there this Sunday. Lemmeno!
    Edit: Nevermind. I didn't ask permission from the wife before saying I could ride.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Brewtality; 03-21-2013 at 10:00 AM.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  17. #17
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    Some info:

    Y'all may have missed some good spots on this trail. The mud through the winter makes many cool sections impassable, this may be how you have ended up riding along the tracks and feeling bumpy.

    Unfortunately, and paradoxically, the rain today will make it muddy through the weekend HOWEVER...now is the time. The poison oak will block many sections until November starting about right now.

    I have ridden at Browns Ravine the last 4 days in a row, and you can SEE the poison oak growing into the trails a few inches per day.

    Now is the time.

  18. #18
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    I'm flexible on Sunday... but would prefer closer to Noon+/- if that works for others. What do you guys prefer?

    For those that can't make it Sunday, who might be interested in a shorter "guided" ride, there are a couple organized rides on March 30th:

    Mountain Bike SS-Latrobe - EL DORADO TRAIL EXPLORERS (Placerville, CA) - Meetup

    http://mtb.hammerinwheels.com/events...&action=detail

  19. #19
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    I could be at the Shingle Springs area between 11 and 12. I would likely show up early and take it easy spinning through the southern part of the trail for maybe ~10 miles, then turn around to meet back up if anyone else was showing. Then off toward Placerville.

  20. #20
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    I have to (get to) work on Sunday now... sorry guys. We'll get an organized ride (with more advanced notice) going soon.

  21. #21
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    Worth it!

    Really enjoyed my ride on the trail. I started at Shingle Springs and rode south just past the county line. There I spent a bit too much time chatting (I crashed a train-themed birthday party), then back to Shingle Springs for a snack at the coffee shop. I then headed east toward Placerville and turned back at Missouri flat and finished with ~53 miles. My plan was to ride all the way into Placerville, but I way underestimated the southern distance. By using the scientific method of eyeballing a google map, I figured it was ~13 miles to the county line, then 13 back. When I realized I had gone over 15, I stopped and pulled out my phone to do a map check thinking maybe I passed it and was heading down toward Rancho Cordova. But alas, I was premature. I persisted on (this was the bumpy section) and hung out at the birthday party for a while...was hoping someone would offer me cake, but no dice.
    So, when I returned to Shingle Springs, I already had ~36 miles in and for some reason, some chaffing. Now, my ass can usually take a pounding , and I don't even think of some sort of cream unless I am going well over 50 miles, so I don't know if it was my old seat, or my old bib with a partially torn out chamois, but I decided to ensure I had at least 50, then call it a ride. Definitely a nice trail to pick up some good training miles with out needed to climb 6000'+ to get them. Was amazed to find out that even with all the stopping, looking for which side had the best trail, chatting with others, checking my phone etc, I was still able to pick up my first KOM! Yeah, 1st out of 5 baby! Sure, it won't last, but it is my first ever that did not involve driving in a car (accidentally...allegedly), so I will take it!

    Oh, and FWIW, the few bumpy sections definitely did not 'suck balls'. No matter how you sugar coat it, sucking balls is not good. It was bumpy in a few areas fo-sho, but hey, it comes with the territory. No back issues whatsoever, but that darn chaffing...just be happy I did not load up a picture of that!



    Here I am just past the county line...
    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-007.jpg

    Here is my bike, heading East.
    El Dorado Trail (Sierra foothills)-010.jpg
    Last edited by S.O.B.; 03-26-2013 at 04:48 PM.

  22. #22
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    OK, I'm impressed.

    You got your miles in before the poison oak grows across the trails, and before the rattlesnakes start to shed on the railroad ties.

  23. #23
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    Ha, kinda funny that as I rode south, I was on the lookout for poison oak (especially since I already have it all over my arms). I did not recall seeing any. Sure were a ton of fledgling oak trees though. On the way back to Shingle Springs, I ran into a group of three (one did a wipeout that led to an impressive 'tuck and roll' right in front of me). They informed me that all those 'fledgling oak trees' are actually poison oak clusters. Dang, that stuff is everywhere. Moving from NC in July, I am keyed in on Poison Ivy, but I have not mastered spotting poison oak (as evident by my arms). The three I ran into are leading one of the organized rides next weekend and were checking out the trail for issues like poison oak and others. They were taking note and planning a work day out there. Nice to know a group is going to look after the trail...sounds like they will work to keep the poison oak off the trail sections. Oh, and I only ran into a couple of cows (one bolted right into and through the barbed wire fence) one snake, a couple jack rabbits and a few squirrels and a bobcat (or small mtn lion). One spunky squirrel ran ahead of me for what seemed like a mile, I mean that spunky sucker just would not pull off the trail. Glad it was not on Strava or it would have knocked me down a notch for sure.

  24. #24
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    That's some solid SS miles! Nice work! You've officially ridden more of the El Dorado Trail than I have... now you get to be the resident spokesman

  25. #25
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    I've ridden the portion of this trail between Placerville and Shingle Springs quite a bit and have always meant to ride the entire trail. After reading this thread I finally got motivated to do so. I was meeting my fiance in Folsom in the afternoon so I planned to ride down and hitch a ride back up. I took off from my house in Pollock Pines and rode to the trail head. This is the Strava segment from the very top of the trail in Camino to the end of the trail off Payen Rd:



    Honestly, everything above the Forni Rd trailhead really isn't worth the riding, except to say that you have ridden it. Lots of pavement nothing fun really at all. The section between Forni and Missouri Flat is better, but still isn't as good as a lot of the stuff further down.

    The only downside to the ride for me was the amount of time I spent trying to find where the trail was when it took off from the railroad tracks at times. I know there were times when I missed pieces of singletrack just because I didn't see them. In all, a pretty fun ride.

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