Written by Mary West of the Auburn Journal
I first visited the Canyon View Preserve three years ago. The day Jeff Darlington of the Placer Land Trust (PLT) celebrated its grand opening to the public. Members of the media, local dignitaries, PLT volunteers, and many local residents gathered that morning to get a first look at the native plants, trees, grasses and wildflowers that call the area home.
I was thrilled to have a new trail so close to town with a new fantastic view of the Foresthill Bridge and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Improvements to the trail continued including benches and picnic tables. The 50 acre property, now in trust to ensure continued public access, contains a 1.25 mile loop at the rim of the canyon off Lincoln Way in Auburn.
To get there, take the Bowman Road exit off Interstate 80 and park in the park-and-ride across the street from the Cal-Star helicopters. The trail runs along the guardrail back across Lincoln Way from the parking lot and down into the preserve.
Of all the trails I enjoyed this spring in search of wildflowers, the Canyon View Preserve was by far the best location for the greatest concentration of big, bold, California Poppies. Today those poppies are past their season but there is always something new to see and enjoy. The tall grasses and wild sage remind me of the field behind my parents’ house where I used to wander. You can really smell the sage after you touch it. By the end of my hike my hands were sticky with oil, and soon dirty by the dust of the trail. It was like being a kid again, wandering, free.
With the heat of summer, you may be looking for a shorter hike, close to home. This is it. This trail is also a great location to get in a quick run, or walk the dog. There is plenty of shade, and a bench along the way, but you will get your share of vitamin D as there are exposed areas along the route, so bring water, wear sun block if you need it, and a hat and glasses if that’s your style. There is some elevation change so sturdy shoes will be your friend.
The Harrigan loop adds the last ¼ mile. A wooden footbridge crosses Sierra Canyon Creek, near the end of the loop, and is a nice spot to pause. The profusion of pink and white sweet peas between the trail and the creek was lovely. And keeping in mind the sentiment that even a rose is a weed if it is growing in your vegetable garden; the deep purple wildflowers generously scattered amongst the tall golden grass is gorgeous right now.
I have used this trail to introduce myself to new acquaintances and to get to know seasoned friends better. I know this is only my opinion, but you learn more about a person on a trail then you do in a movie theater or at some table in a restaurant.
If you are short on time, but want to stretch your legs, need a spot for lunch, or just want to enjoy a relaxing view, check out Canyon View Preserve Trail.
Mary West is a retired radio personality and news reporter with a longtime love of the outdoors, sharing her favorite day hikes in Placer, Nevada, El Dorado and Yuba counties. Learn more about local trails by following Mary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. (As posted in the AJ: http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/6/18/16/day-hiker-canyon-view-preserve-nearby-and-beautiful )
Our Canyon View Trail is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. To learn more about Canyon View Preserve, visit our website: http://www.placerlandtrust.org/project/canyon-view-preserve/