Archive for the 'Running and Hiking trails' Category


said on September 13th, 2018 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

This morning I was running Stevens Trail just outside of Colfax, California.

Stevens gets my vote as the most beautiful trail in the Foothills, at least in a thirty mile radius of Auburn.  I’ve run most of these trails, many times, and this one is my favorite for pure loveliness . . . combined with a worthy challenge.  View for view, glade for glade, and grade for grade, it matches up with any trail.   The trail head is conveniently close to the freeway, and there’s a LOT of trail, a nine mile round trip down to the North Fork of the American River (search around for the grinding holes left behind by the Nisenan women) . . . and back up to your car.  The return trip, a four and a half mile gallop, uphill all the way, provides the challenge.  But hey, that’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it?  Pushing yourself while lollygagging in Ma Nature’s embrace.  You’re not bumper-to-bumper on the interstate.  You’re not in one of those meetings where knives are hidden behind the words.  You’re not failing the required class for your degree.  No, you are in none of those places.  You are HERE.  Stevens!  Breathe it in.  What a buzz.  What a privilege.  You are HERE on Stevens Trail.

A few years ago, I wrote a couple of articles about Steven’s Trail—with lots of photos.  So help yourself.  Feel free to poke around on our site.  There are articles about many other Foothill trails.

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Folsom Lake, CA Trail

said on March 17th, 2013 filed under: Auburn, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

This is one of the most scenic trails I know.  The soft sandy foot path is a sweet bonus.

The trail, which runs southwest from Auburn to Folsom, almost all of it along the shore, has several access points.  I like going in at the Sterling Equestrian Staging Area.  Following the video is a link to a previous article called “The La Di Dah Trail.”



Here are more details about the “La Di Dah Trail.”

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Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley, CA, the Running and Hiking Trails

said on February 28th, 2013 filed under: Grass Valley, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

Empire Mine State Park Trails.   Here’s a video that will give you a taste of the trails at Empire Mines State Park in Grass Valley, CA.  When I say “in” Grass Valley, that’s what I mean.  Empire Mines is a medium size park with about 12 miles of trails if you run every little bit of every trail, and it is inside the city limits of Grass Valley.  Best way to get there?  Go to Grass valley and ask anybody, “Where’s Empire Mines State Park?”



If you want to take another turn around the park, just click on this Empire Mine State Park link called Rain Gear,

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Running the Spenceville Wildlife Trails

said on February 22nd, 2013 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

Running the Spenceville Wildlife Trails.

How to get there: Take Highway 20 out of Grass valley heading west toward Marysville and Yuba City. Just after you cross the Nevada County line take the road to the left called “Beal Air Force Base.” It’s actually the Smartville Road, but never mind. After a mile, turn left on Chuck Yeager Road. Go about 4 more miles. Turn left on Waldo Road and follow it to the trailhead. It’s dirt and gravel, dusty but not too rough. Do not take the Camp Farwest road to the right. Just stay on Waldo. In a couple of miles it stops. That’s the trail head. Stretch and walk across the old con crete bride and then follow the directions in my video.

Click here if you want to read the article called “Spenceville Dogs”

I hope you enjoyed our little outing, Running the Spenceville Wildlife Trails.  Adios.  See you on the next run.

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Go for a Run on the Yuba River with Bob

said on February 10th, 2013 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

Today we’ll run about 8 miles, 4 miles out and 4 miles back, along the South Fork of the Yuba River, the soul of Nevada County.  We’ll head up highway 49 and just as we get to the north edge of Nevada City we’ll take that sharp left turn that Highway 49 makes to head further north toward Downieville.  If you miss this turn, and it’s easy to do, you will be on Highway 20 heading east toward Tahoe.  That’s a nice road, but not the one you want to be on.

As soon as you make that Highway 49 jog to the left, look for the first road to the right, Coyote Road.  Turn right onto Coyote and wind uphill for about a mile.  You will come out on North Bloomfoeld Road.  Turn right and stay on this road for 6 or 7 miles.  The last mile will wind down into the South Yuba Canyon.  The correct name is South Fork of the Yuba, but if you say South Yuba everyone will know what you are talking about.

Park at the closest end of the bridge.  There is a toilet, but no running water.  Actually there is running water, a picturesque little creek burbling down to the parking lot, but I don’t recommend drinking out of it. Get out.   Go the the outhouse if you are in need.  Walk out on the Edwards Crossing bridge.  It’s a great place to stretch before your run or hike.  Spend a few minutes looking upstream and downstream.  Be quiet.  Listen.  Feel the sweet vibration.

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Running Embudito Canyon

said on July 21st, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Running and Hiking trails

One of my favorite places to run is the Embudito Canyon below the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico.



If you thought that first photo was pretty, check out this one.


Each time I run Embudito, I look for rattlesnakes.  I don’t look OUT for them, I look FOR them, on the trails, in the cactus shade, under rocks, in holes and crevices.  I’ve only seen one, but I keep looking.  Rattlers are so old, so very old, ancient and primeval.  I feel blessed whenever I come across one in the wild.



No Old Man Rattler today, but I did spend a few moments with this handsome fellow, about 5 feet long and in no hurry.


Anybody know what species this is?

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Oh, The Places I Run

said on July 20th, 2012 filed under: Running and Hiking trails, Whimsy

Running is about places, the places I run.

Yes, certainly, running is about physical conditioning or mileage or racing or losing weight or setting goals or many other worthwhile benefits, but, for me, after so many years of focus on those other things, running has come down to this, the places I run, and mostly, where I run is as far away from roads and cars and ipads and email and mp3 players and, yes, people, as I can get.

When I choose my running trails I am looking, foremost, for quietude and solitude. That shouldn’t surprise you, because, you know, solitude and quietude are helpful states for spiritual practice.  Is running a spiritual practice?  Of course, but I find it easier to look at that possibility from out the corner of my eye, if you know what I mean.  It’s like night vision, better seen when you don’t look at it directly.  Hey!  Do you know what I mean?

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Buddha, Won’t You please Come Home?

said on June 23rd, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails, Whimsy

Part 1.  The Secret Trail

There’s a secret trail near my home at Lake of the Pines, California.  Dharma and I run there often because it’s shady, not too difficult, and not too long, out and back, to a secret location about which, if you are an attentive and patient reader, I shall tell you in a moment.  I stumbled upon this “secret” trail a few years ago, by accident.  Well, to tell the truth, it wasn’t exactly continue reading…

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The Best Running and Hiking Trails in Placer and Nevada Counties

said on May 16th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Running and Hiking trails

Click on  the Trail Names below to visit my photo essay and description of the trails

Stevens Trail in Colfax The Magnificent Stevens Trail

Stevens Trail in Colfax The North Fork in Winter Voice

Stevens Trail in Colfax Three Best Ways to Fall on Your Face

Quarry Trail in Auburn Don’t Fret, I’ve Scouted Quarry Trail

Hirschman Trail in Nevada City Hirschman Trail, Nevada City, California

Clementine Connector in Auburn Easy Running on the Clementine Connector

Clementine Trail in Auburn Best Sights Along the Clementine Trail

Clementine Connector in Auburn Placer and Nevada County Trails:  The Clementine Connector

San Bruno Park Trail in San Bruno, California Running the Summit on San Bruno Mountain

Embudito Canyon in Albuquerque, New Mexico Fitness Goals.  Hop Til You drop

Sterling Trail south of Auburn The La Di Dah Trail

Stagecoach Trail in Auburn Stagecoach/Mossy Rock trail

Cascade Trail, between Grass Valley and Nevada City Cascade Canal Trail, Nevada City, California

Empire Mine in Grass Valley Rain Gear

Essay on Running Technique and Philosophy Easy Running (with the Tarahumara)

Independence Trail in Nevada City Are You Independent Enough for the Independence Trail

Spenceville Wildlife Area Spenceville Dogs

South Yuba Edwards Crossing Trail, Nevada City, California

Weimar Institute in Colfax Weimar Institute Trails

Weimar Institute in ColfaxPrayer Cove at Weimar Institute

Hidden Falls Recreation Area in Auburn Hidden Falls, Auburn, California

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Showing Weimar Institute to the Woodland Wanderers

said on May 12th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Running and Hiking trails

The Woodland Outdoor Wanderers is a hiking group that rambles away from their home base at the Woodland Presbyterian Church in Woodland, California, and pokes around on trails as far away as Weimar Institute up in my neck of the woods here in the Sierra Foothills.

One of the trip leaders, Judy, emailed me a few weeks ago and asked if I would introduce the Wanderers to Weimar.  These Institute trails are very special to me, and I don’t show them to just anybody, but Judy seemed awfully nice, so I agreed to meet her and her comrades up there this morning.

I’ve written several blogs about the Institute trails, so I won’t take up a lot of space with a deluge of photographs . . . or words.

Here are a couple of links:

Weimar Institute Trails

Prayer Cove at Weimar Institute

The group arrived right on time at the designated spot.  I gave them a brief introduction, went over the map with the trip leaders, and took off.  Took off?  No, I did not hike with them.  You know me.  If I can’t run, I go a bit crazy.

Today I was wearing my new running shirt, a gift from my son, Luke,  who is attending Oregon State University.  I knew the shirt would make me run fast, like a gazelle, like a cheetah.

I told you there would be no more Weimar photos, but I couldn’t resist this wild iris.

And this pretty manzanita also caught my eye.

Weimar Institute

About half way through the run, I looped back around to check on the group.  They were still on the right path, still walking the straight and narrow.  Can somebody give me an “Amen?”  AMEN!  Dr. Bob, spiritual guide to the Weimar Institute trails.  AMEN!

(Did I mention the Wanderers were a church group?)

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