south FART

It’s been a while since I’ve written a bike trail post. I bought a new mountain bike as a sort of birthday/Christmas present to myself at the beginning of winter, but haven’t really ridden it much. Now that spring’s here it’s time to come out of hibernation and start biking again. So today I took the bike for a spin on a trail that I recently discovered.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe trail uses the same parking area as the Salmon Falls trail– in fact you can see Salmon Falls trail cut into the hill in the upper left of this picture.

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The South Fork American River Trail, or South FART as I call it, is on the other side of the river from Salmon Falls.

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The trail starts with a big climb up and away from the lake.There’s a fair number of switchbacks and a good number of fairly steep rollers.

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But it’s well worth it. After the climb there’s some nice flowing singletrack, my favorite kind of riding.

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There’s one creek crossing, which I couldn’t clear both times I tried it. The trail basically u-turns into the creek, so it’s hard to carry enough speed to clear the creek.

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After about four or five miles the trail crosses into the Cronan Ranch area. Here there’s a fairly large network of trails– mostly fire roads though, not a lot of singletrack. There’s a picture of a map of Cronan Ranch on this old post about biking in Cool.

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Here’s a friendly group of horse riders I met in Cronan Ranch.

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They were leaving the ‘Hollywood Set’ area of Cronan Ranch.

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It’s called the ‘Hollywood Set’ area because they filmed a movie here. “Love Comes Softly,” doesn’t sound like the kind of movie that I’d watch. Scenery’s nice here though.

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There’s picnic tables nearby, good place to grab a bit to eat and rest for a bit.

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Instead of heading back I decided to ride a bit further into Cronan Ranch. I saw this sign and decided to ride down towards the river.

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Nice spot by the river. Apparently there’s several trails that lead down to the river in Cronan Ranch. I’ll definitely need to come back and explore some more.

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I peeled off my bike shoes and socks and decided to cool my feet (and pollute the water running into Folsom Lake) before heading back.

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In the past I’d only use MapMyRide for road cycling or jogging, but nowadays it’s pretty good for mountain biking as well. From the map I can see that the trail’s not too far from water for most of the ride– it’s good to know that I can bring a filter to refill my water bottles in the summer.

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