14.8 miles from Bell Tower. Many easy-moderate options. MAP
Cronan Ranch has over 12 miles of combined hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that criss-cross its prairie of scattered oak woodland on rolling hills of open space, former cattle country under repair.
Along its south side, the American River flows by with ideal places for picnics, swimming, (with caution—big current), and a cool respite from the hot summer heat. Restrooms and picnic tables are provided there along the river, where rafters like to stop and enjoy a last meal before running the exciting gorge downstream.
When this 1400 acre regional park was opened in 2005 it was an instant success. The American River Conservancy (ARC) gets praise for raising the funds and cobbling the public and private land together to create this wonderful park. Cronan Ranch is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
In 2011 ARC finished the South Fork trail to connect the Cronan Ranch area to Folsom Lake. The final 2 miles is closed to horses for sensitive plant concerns, but ARC is working to acquire a horse trail that will get horses to Salmon Falls on their own path. Please support ARC with their ongoing efforts, without them this area would still be for the cows!
Directions: From the B.T. go north on Highway 49 down to Coloma and continue about 8 miles to Pedro Hill Road, on your left, and find the parking lot soon after turning.
The trails wend around the entire area, mostly following old ranch roads that served the area when it was a working cattle ranch. There is also a trail that goes east and connects the “down and up” trail to the Magnolia Ranch/Greenwood Creek areas. Bike need to use caution on the connector trail which is also popular with horses.