The North and South forks of the river have extensive hiking trails. The more rugged and demanding are those of the North; the South Fork has its share of difficult trails but also many that are suitable for an afternoon outing.
ASRA Canyon Keepers – The Canyon Keepers hike the trails in Auburn State Recreation Area, taking notes along the way. They then create trail guides from the information they gather. The guides include information such as distance, time to hike the trail, elevation profile, a description of the significant points of natural and historic interest on the trails, and directions to the trailhead. This site posts downloadable PDF files of their guides.
Auburn State Recreational Area – Top ten trails in the Auburn State Recreational Area featuring the Auburn-Cool Trail. The Auburn-Cool Trail is quite suitable for all trail uses. Hikers can find tennis-shoe comfort even on wet days. Horses can have wide road shoulders to themselves. On the Cool side, the paved road might just be the best roller-blading around, if anyone knew about it. Bikers can save time on the pavement and the long downhill cruises, and either walk or get a challenging workout on the climbs. Beginning bikers can go there to avoid conflicts on the narrower and more crowded trails.
California Hiking Guide – GORP’s California Hiking Guide has links to the Tahoe Rim-Trail, and El Dorado National Forest trails, along with many other locations in California and other hiking links.
Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park – Located in Pilot Hill, California, Cronan Ranch contains over 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and other passive recreation. The borders of the Park follow the South Fork American River, Highway 49, Pedro Hill Road and private lands. The Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset year round. There is a wide variety of terrain to choose from, including gently sloped to challenging hills, oak woodland and gentle riverfront trails.
Hiking in El Dorado County – El Dorado County site lists several hiking spots with brief descriptions including Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado National Forest, Tahoe Rim Trail, D. L. Bliss State Park, Emerald Bay State Park, Dave Moore Nature Area, North Star Tree Farm, and Rubicon Outdoors with links to many of the areas for more infomation.
North Fork of the American River – This wonderful blog is subtitled, “Accounts of explorations in the Great American Canyon, Placer County’s Yosemite.” The author, Russell Towle, writes of his hikes in the canyons of the North Fork of the American River. Several years worth of stories, natural history and philosophy are interspersed with logistics information and trail maps. A quote, “It is my philosophy that the old trails of the North Fork need to be known, not unknown. The North Fork of the American River–its wildness, its beautiful scenery, its historic trails and mining ditches and prehistoric sites–deserves every kind of protection and preservation. But this protection and preservation is hardly possible if no one knows the great canyon, and its great old trails.”
Sacramento Area Running Trails – Descriptions of running trails along the lower American River and near Foresthill, from the Buffalo Chips Running Club. Buffalo Chips is a Sacramento area running club that embraces speedy runners, recreational joggers, and walkers. They also have an active youth program, the Chip Youths.
Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club – Lake Tahoe area running club for all ages and abilities. Training runs, fun runs, track workouts and adventure runs. Site includes maps of favorite Tahoe area runs. For detailed weekly information regarding upcoming run schedule and other events, check site or call the club hotline at (530) 541-5122.
Western States Endurance Run – This 100-mile run along the Western States Trail starts at Squaw Valley, California. The trail runs down the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River drainage, crossing the main stem of the Middle Fork below Ruck-a-Chucky, and re-crossing at No Hands Bridge on its way to the Auburn finish line.