8.8 miles from Auburn Courthouse. Easy-moderate 29 miles. MAP
Thanks to efforts of the Placer County Legacy, this former ranch land was purchased and developed for equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikes, and also has a paved trail for wheeled chairs. The park now protects a large chunk of open space along with its native plant habitat for the enjoyment of future generations.
With the addition of almost 1,000 more acres to its original 221 acres in 2012 the park now has 29 miles of trail. Plans have recently been approved to access another 1000 acres to the north that will increase this popular recreation area even more!
Features include creeks that traverse the area, the not so hard to see hidden falls, partially shaded trails that meander all over the place, and picnic tables scattered in foothill oak forest. It’s hard to get lost out here as there are signs at every junction and maps scattered at many locations.
A word of caution about swimming in Coon Creek—although it is treated water, it comes from the sewage treatment plant uphill from the park on Joeger Road—just so you know!
Directions: From the Courthouse, take Lincoln .7 miles to go L on Highway 49, go 2.7 miles towards Grass Valley and turn L on Atwood road. Go 1.8 miles and bear R on Mt. Vernon, stay left at Joeger Road at another 1.6 miles and continue on Mt. Vernon another 2.1 miles to go R on Mears Place. The parking lot is ½ mile in and it’s FREE!
The trails start right from the parking lot where you’ll find restrooms and an information kiosk with map and rules for using the park. Coon Creek is the main drainage for the area but you will also see the Whiskey Diggings Canal (still in use) and maybe you’ll notice the abandoned Camp Far West Ditch that used to transport Coon Creek water all the way to Camp Far West. This old ditch would sure make an excellent hiker/bike path to that reservoir if the powers that be could do it (not so subtle hint).