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  1. #1
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    Granite Bay Extended Dance Loop

    For those that enjoy going off the beaten path, a reminder that with the lake so low, you can extend your Granite Bay ride a bit by heading north of Beeks Bight on the 100% legal "North Fork Ditch" Trail, which can be taken all the way to Horseshoe Bar (4 miles one way), should you feel so inclined.

    After a bit more rain, it will likely be better (firmer) than it is currently, as much of it is on sandy terrain. It's not for everyone, but for the curious, it's worth a look. If more people would ride it regularly, it would pack down nicely. Add a mile or two to your routine and let's see how it rides with more bike use.



    Some of it is really nice trail:


    A lot of it is sandy, but rideable... spin to win:

  2. #2
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    Ya that's a fun winter trail.

  3. #3
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    Apparently, the equestrians think it is an equestrian only trail. A few weeks ago I was on the trial and I heard a horse galloping behind me so I graciously pulled to the side and said howdy. He immediately told me I was riding a horse only trail. I told him this trail is underwater most of the year and the horse only trail is a little further inland. He stated he has been riding the trail for 25 years and this was the first time he heard someone disagree with him. I told him I have been riding the trail for thirty five years and never had an issue. I suggested to him that we could both ride back and talk to a ranger and he declined and rode off.

  4. #4
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    I was riding that trail for the first time (as well as the rest of Granite) and worried about the same thing. I didn't see anyone else, so no problems. The trails seemed to be in great condition.

  5. #5
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    Some of the equestrian riders do think all the trails out there belong to them. I think they just try to tell everyone these are for equestrians only and see if they can get away with it. Majority of the time I encounter horses it's very friendly but there are a few that just can't seem to share....

  6. #6
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    I was planning on riding GB tomorrow. I will have to do a little exploring and see if I can locate/ride this trail. Thanks for the info.

  7. #7
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    Does this trail run out of the parking lot at the end of the road in the Beek's Bight area? Is it marked in any way? Trail marking in Folsom Lake/Granite Bay sucks.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  8. #8
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    Just go north out of the north end of the parking lot and traverse around the lake, you can't miss it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripower View Post
    Apparently, the equestrians think it is an equestrian only trail. A few weeks ago I was on the trial and I heard a horse galloping behind me so I graciously pulled to the side and said howdy. He immediately told me I was riding a horse only trail. I told him this trail is underwater most of the year and the horse only trail is a little further inland. He stated he has been riding the trail for 25 years and this was the first time he heard someone disagree with him. I told him I have been riding the trail for thirty five years and never had an issue. I suggested to him that we could both ride back and talk to a ranger and he declined and rode off.
    Great story!

    Even the crazy horse ladies that run the anti-bike "Park Watch Report" publish that it is multi-use: Park Watch Report -=- Article Folsom Lake SRA Beach Trail from Sterling Pointe to Beeks is passable

    Since the ditch trail seems like a much nicer, softer, scenic, and safer trail for horses, it would be awesome if the Pioneer Express Trail were opened to bicycle use the months that the ditch trail is usable for horses... although Pioneer could use some serious re-routing due to 4' deep troughs from horse traffic and erosion.

  10. #10
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    Thanks EB. I'm looking at Google maps, and can see it (and other trails). Does it get up into the trees at all or is it all along the shoreline?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    Thanks EB. I'm looking at Google maps, and can see it (and other trails). Does it get up into the trees at all or is it all along the shoreline?
    The ditch trail is along the shore line nothing in the trees.

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    I live very near GB, and have been curious about this trail as well.....

    I called the rangers at Folsom SRA.
    Talked with John Stevens.

    He said that the trail in question is NOT bike legal, but that the park service is *thinking* about it.

    So....ride it at your own risk

  13. #13
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    Really, for petesake it's under water much of the year.....what a crock.... so I can ride next to the trail on shore and be legal? Now that makes complete sense. No trail should be closed to anyone....

    Seems to me that typical gov't doesn't know from on end to the other what is or isn't legal....shocker. I've asked rangers out there and said other than Pioneer your good to go.

  14. #14
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    I'll bet a beer the ranger is referring to the Pioneer Express trail, and not the ditch trail.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I'll bet a beer the ranger is referring to the Pioneer Express trail, and not the ditch trail.
    Very possible nonetheless if they can't keep things straight how are we?

  16. #16
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    I'd venture to say many mt. bikers have far better knowledge of our trail system than many rangers. We use them, probably more than anyone. They manage them, and they have a lot more to deal with than just trails. I'll bet a 2nd beer that the ranger in question doesn't know there is a shoreline trail that is accessible when the lake is low.

  17. #17
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    Okay....trail status for the Ditch Trail is ambiguous, as are a lot of the trails out in the Folsom Lake area. Signage is almost non-existent in most areas, such as Beeks Bight, a lot of Twin Rocks, and the stuff lower down near Beal's Point.

    I understand the Pioneer Express Trail is off-limits to bikes. It is posted a bit haphazard, but for the most part I understand the section between Horseshoe Bar Road and The Douglas park entrance is for the horsey folk. What I do not know is what part of the trails from Mooney Ridge to Beal's Point are part of the Pioneer Express Trail and if so are they off limits to bikes. I have ridden them, and see bikes on them all the time. But there is no signage that I know of. At the end of the trail, right at the entrance for Beal's Point from Auburn-Folsom Road where the trail exits the trees through the wood rail fencing, there is one of those flexible plastic strip-style signposts with some sort of "Western States" or "Pioneer Express" trail stickers on it (Illegible due to weathering) but no "Anti-Bike" slash/circle sticker telling me bikes are not allowed.

    I want to know if I can ride all those trails that run from Cavitt School, over the first hill (I call it Horsemeat Hill due to the presence of the boarded horses in the corral there), down along the wing-dam, over the little bridge right next to Auburn-Folsom Road, then up the second hill (In which the Pioneer Express historical marker is on one side of near the paved bike path - so I call this Pioneer Express Hill), and down past the Beal's campground to the park entrance.

    The green is known bike-okay trail/road, the yellow is what I don't know about:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Granite Bay Extended Dance Loop-horsemeat-hill.jpg  

    Granite Bay Extended Dance Loop-between.jpg  

    Granite Bay Extended Dance Loop-pioneer-express.jpg  

    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  18. #18
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    Bokchoi:

    I live next to the Twin Rocks entrance to GB and ride those yellow trails all the time. I pass horses, runners, walkers, etc and no one has ever contested my right to be there. I have had a couple of issues up toward the Los Lagos Eq Center but nothing I'd consider a run-in and the trails in that area (except for one) are void of "no bike" markers. I have been told by a Ranger the trail that started this thread is ok for bikes but obviously not the Pioneer Express trail above it in the trees.

    Happy riding and take some carrots with you as it eases the pain when you encounter horses.

  19. #19
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    FWIW, I have been accosted by equestrians while riding one of the yellow trails on BCCowboys first pic. Very irate older woman and a middle aged woman.
    "You're not supposed to be out here!! This is a horse only trail!!"
    My reply was a "Whatever!" And then I rode around them.


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  20. #20
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    Any dirt from Hazel Bridge on the north side of Lake Natoma to Beals Point is technically not legal for bikes, including the trail through the campground at Beals Point. Directly across the road from the campground trail (entrance to Beals), the trail is bike legal heading north... essentially all the yellow markings on your maps. Some of those trails used to not be legal, but when the levees were being raised, State Parks re-routed and added some trail down low for all users to bypass the construction, and they have remained multi-use since. Once in Granite Bay State Park, the Pioneer Express Trail is mostly west of the main road in the park and off limits to bikes all the way north to Auburn.

    For the record, there are 58 miles of singletrack in the Folsom Lake SRA (which includes Lake Natoma but not SFART). Mountain bikers have legal access to 29 of those miles. Horses have legal access to 49 of those miles.

    For what it's worth, I see things changing once the General Plan/Trail Plan get finalized and moving forward. This is a comment by Jim Micheaels, the senior dude in our district, regarding a study on trail use conflict that was conducted all over the country last summer:

    "For Folsom Lake SRA, the District believes part of the long term solutions include developing more trail opportunities for all users but particularly mountain bikes - either through development of new trails or changes in use; and addressing the design and conditions inadequacies of the current trail system through repairs, re-routes and improved maintenance. Given the current intensity of use and the seemingly endless latent demand for trail use it could be that some limitations on use, such as further reduction in special events involving trails may be needed to help reduce use conflicts. Perhaps our trails are exceeding their carrying capacity both physically and socially."

    I also read this to mean there might be less races allowed at Granite Bay in the future...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I also read this to mean there might be less races allowed at Granite Bay in the future...
    I also see fewer races happening in the future.
    But I'm more concerned about the comments about restricting use. I read that as alternate day schedules or additional trail restrictions. Maybe finally shutting down night riding for real.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    FWIW, I have been accosted by equestrians while riding one of the yellow trails on BCCowboys first pic. Very irate older woman and a middle aged woman.
    "You're not supposed to be out here!! This is a horse only trail!!"
    Haha... haters are gonna hate.

    This just reminded me that a couple weeks ago, we were approaching "Horsemeat Hill" and I noticed a horse not in the corral:


    We stopped to see what was up. The horse's back legs were bleeding pretty good, but overall, she was mellow/tame. We just kind of hung out with her while one of the guys went down the hill to look for help:


    A couple women from the Folsom Lake Trail Patrol came up to rescue... although they weren't sure if it was even one of their horses. Sadly, people that can no longer afford Mr.Ed often times dump them. The FLTP gals were super thankful, but wouldn't give me a commemorative FLTP patch

  23. #23
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    You are the quenescentual trail steward! That was one of the cool parts of our ride though
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  24. #24
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    Thanks mtbne1, Empty_Beer, and Brewtality! Great info, now I can ride guilt free in the area. Love the horse pics you took on Horsemeat Hill.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  25. #25
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    This thread and some stuff on FaceBook made me do a little research.
    I found THIS page that claims 80 miles of dirt trails in Folsom Lake SRA.
    I can not find it now, but a few years ago I read some General Plan articles that claimed 110 miles of dirt trails in Folsom Lake SRA.
    It would be an interesting excersize tolist everything that is mtn bike legal. FWIW, I can say that only the Salmon Falls/Darrington Trail is off limits to horses. AFAIK, that is the only stretch of trail that is off limits to horses. They have access to the rest of the 80 - 110 miles of trail.
    What do we have access to?
    Granite Bay Loop + Dotons Point Trail, 5-6 miles.
    Trail between Beals Point entrance and fireroad near Cavitt, 1 mile.
    Southside of Natomas Loop, 5 miles (actually I think its more like 3.5m).
    Dike 8 trail, not sure, 2-3 miles?
    Sweetwater Trail, not sure, 3 miles?
    Salmon Falls/Darrington Trail, 5 miles?
    North Fork Ditch Trail, 3 miles.

    I count 26 miles. Out of 80 miles (according to State Parks).
    We get 32% of the trails. I would love to get some data on what percentage of trail users are mtn bikers, equestrians, hikers, etc.. Also interesting to look at would be actual miles of trail used by each user group. I know that when I go for a ride, it is no less than 20 miles. I seriously doubt the average equestrians, hikers or trail runners are using that many miles of trail.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

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