South Fork American River Trail

Folsom Lake State Recreational Area, California

Elevation Gain3,956ft
Trailhead Elevation495ft
Elevation Min/Max495/1011ft
Elevation Start/End495/495ft

South Fork American River Trail

South Fork American River Trail is a hiking and biking trail in El Dorado County, California. It is within Folsom Lake State Recreational Area. It is 6.8 miles long and begins at 495 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 13.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,956 feet. Near the trailhead there are parkings and restrooms. The trail ends near the "Love Comes Softly" movie set picnic site. This trail connects with the following: West Ridge Trail, Satan's Cesspool, Cronan Ranch Road and S Fork Am Riv Trail.

South Fork American River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This 12-mile section of hiking trail was opened in October 2010, joining a 25-mile trail system along the South Fork of the American River. From the outset, your trail follows the track of the South Fork American River–Gerle Loop Trail in the previous hike. You’ll pass the movie site at Cronan Ranch, then continue on open terrain all the way to Skunk Hollow at the Salmon Falls Bridge. You trail generally stays about 120 feet above the river. From that vantage, vistas encompass the whole ecosystem throughout the hike."

"There is something magnificent about blue oaks standing on a hillside, glowing in the earlymorning sun. Seeing the same sunlight glowing golden on a pristine river also offers some magic. Magnolia Ranch is one of those wonderful places where the trees, river, and hills also accompany some great hiking trails. The Magnolia Ranch trails are on land that has been purchased by the American River Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management, and other partners in order to preserve them for recreation and wildlife conservation."

South Fork American River Trail Reviews

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We walked the short 2.6 mile loop in early May with a toddler, and a baby in a backpack. The trail is smooth and fairly level, great for little feet--a few rocks that tripped her up but nothing serious, and no scary drop-offs or dangerous cracks. Quite a bit of poison oak but hey, welcome to the foothills... The trail is partially shaded, which made it wonderful in the Spring and probably tolerable in the summer, and there are several great places for a swim. There were quite a few nice views along the route; there's even a toilet half way round, which is rather civilized!
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A great hike thru the typical rolling oak covered hills. Many trails exist with new trails opening in 2010 which will allow you to hike a variety of "paths" for around 12-14 miles, depending upon your selected route. Go early in the year before the weather warms!!!

South Fork American River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Folsom Lake State Recreational Area
Nearby City
Folsom Lake State Recreational Area
USGS: Coloma
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018