For an affordable day's fun, it's hard to beat hiking

By: Bridget Jones, Gold Country News Service
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For very little cash local residents can experience the thrill of hiking on nearby trails. Roseville and Granite Bay are surrounded by various trail systems perfect for family outings and a few hours of exercise. The Miner’s Ravine and False Ravine trails can be accessed through several places within the city including Sculpture Park and the United Artists Theatre parking lot, both off of North Sunrise Boulevard. Michael Dour, an alternative transportation analyst for the city of Roseville, said this trail system provides an interesting hike because of its secluded quality. “Once you get on the trail it’s like you’ve entered a different world,” Dour said. “It’s just a different way to experience a unique side of the city. It’s neat because you’re going right through a developed area, but you get down to the ravine and it’s like you’re in a different world.” The makeup of the trail system and the residents of its habitat also provide for a fun and unique hike, Dour said. “There aren’t a lot of jurisdictions with paved trails that are that long, so that’s a unique aspect of it,” Dour said. “The neat fact about that trail is that the bridges are built with materials from the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s (also) a salmon habitat, so occasionally you’ll see salmon in the creek.” Cari Colonius, a local mother and REI Outdoor School instructor, said she enjoys biking on and taking her son to this trail, but encourages hikers to remember that they will be sharing the trail with others. “It’s multi-use, so that’s one thing people need to keep in mind — it’s not just hikers,” Colonius said. “You see wildlife too — you see lots of birds. That trail is nice because you can access it from a bunch of different places, and it’s free.” Granite Bay residents can also access the Miner’s Ravine Trail through the Miner’s Ravine Nature Reserve on Auburn Folsom Road. “There are interpretive signs and it’s all in the wetland area,” Colonius said. “It talks about the salmon, it talks about the wildlife there, all the geographic features. So, it’s a nice little interpretive place.” The trail through Maidu Regional Park located at Maidu Drive off of Rocky Ridge Drive, as well as the trail connected to the Maidu Interpretive Center offers further hiking opportunities for local residents. “I think the Maidu Interpretive Center is one key reason people should come to the city, to check that out,” Dour said. The Maidu Interpretive Center’s trail is about one mile long. It is accessible to the public during the center’s normal business hours. Groups can sign up for guided tours or parents can simply bring their children for an educational walk in which they can learn about the lives, ceremonies, structures and petroglyphs of the Nisenan Maidu Indians. Colonius said the trail has been ideal for her as the mother of a young son. “I started taking my son there when he was about a year old,” Colonius said. “It ended up being a really great thing for me and him. It was a great little safe, fun hike. It’s great for small children — it’s educational, it’s fun.” Kris Stevens, director of the center, said the trail is like a walk back through time, and hikers get a chance to appreciate the lives of a people that called the area home for centuries. “As you hike, you’ll sense the timeless quality of this ancient village site where a native community thrived for over 8,000 years prior to European invasion,” Stevens said. Local residents also have a wide array of trails available to them through the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Those interested in hiking these trails need only follow Douglas Boulevard to the Granite Bay access point. Supervising Ranger T. Guardino of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area said there are numerous trails within this system, and hikers can pick various destinations. “The benefits of our particular park are we have a lot of trails,” Guardino said. “To go up river, you can start at the kiosk at Granite Bay, and you could end up in Tahoe. You could walk all the way to Auburn. There is just a vast amount of trails. You can walk on a fire road; you can walk on single track trails. We have multi-use trails. There are trails that are horses and people only and no bicycles, and there are trails where you can ride bicycles.” Guardino said hikers looking for ideal destinations should feel free to inquire at the Granite Bay access point kiosk. Beal’s Point is a downriver hike and is a day-use as well as overnight camping area. This beach also includes a snack bar that rents pedal boats, sail boats, jet skis and other water sport equipment. Colonius said hiking is a great activity for local residents who want to get out and have fun, but who also need to save some money. “I think it’s a wonderful activity at any time,” she said. “And I think in stressful economic times it can be even better because it gets you out and it doesn’t cost you anything.” ---------- Hiking resources Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Information: (916) 988-0205 Maidu Interpretive Center Where: 1960 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville Information: (916) 774-5934 Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. second Saturday Cost: $4 for adults, $3.75 for children and seniors, $14 for a family of four REI Roseville and REI Outdoor School Where: 1148 Galleria Blvd. Information:(916) 724-6750 www.