19 miles from Bell Tower. Easy-steep trail options. MAP
This is a great place to escape on an easy stroll. The paved trail offers either a half or full mile loop, and if you want something more challenging, nearby are steeper 2 and 4 mile loop trails that drop down either to the Dry Gulch Ditch (abandoned), or further down to Sly Park Creek for the longer option. Some day I hope to explore the Dry Gulch Ditch further along to see how far it can be walked, as the trail along its bank continues far beyond my map.
Park Creek is like a small river down below these trails as it drains most of the water from Jenkinson Lake. Might be good fishing.
Directions: Drive 13.5 miles east on highway 50 to Sly Park exit, go 5 miles to Mormon Emigrant Road but stay right towards Pleasant Valley for 1.4 miles and watch for the small parking lot on the Left (south) side of the road. It’s across from the U.S.F.S. educational center.
The trails are found right next to the parking area. The paved route goes around the hilltop south of the parking lot and has a nice observation deck that overlooks the vast Consumnes River canyon to the south.
The more extended trail leaves the parking area to the east and is accessed by walking beyond the Forest Service cabin and continuing along the unpaved road. (See map).
History: Cedar Park was once known as Cedar Tree, a mining village just east of this trail development, closer to Jenkinson Lake. The Dry Gulch Ditch grabbed water from Park Creek and took it to the Dry Gulch Mine, and beyond, to the extensive Crawford Ditch.