Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

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July 11, 2013

Cedar Park Trail, near Sly Park, CA

Wheelchair and stroller accessible trail through the woods with a nice observation deck overlooking the Cosumnes River Canyon. 

At only one half to one mile, it is a perfect woodsy getaway for youngsters.


The trail forms a paved figure 8 set of loops with rest benches situated randomly along the way.  It is located in El Dorado National Forest, on the south side of Sly Park Road, Pollock Pines, CA.  We found a nice observation deck that overlooks the Cosumnes River Canyon.  Carry water and maybe mosquito spray.  There aren't any water sources along the way.  It is accessible year around but gets snow.  Dogs are welcome on a leash.  (For a restroom, I stopped at Lake Jenkinson campground, and parked before the gate. Located near the entrance gate you'll find bathrooms.)
The paved route is easy, has an elevation range of 3640-3700 feet. Ample parking is provided.

At Cedar park, there are two more trails, unpaved, not well marked, that head out beyond the ranger's cabin.  It turned into bushwhacking for us, which was fun, but also had some steepness and makes a great "Let's go get lost" sort of hike.  There wasn't much of an understory which made off trail hiking easier, and we had a small runoff creek crossing.  Down below all of this is a creek/river where there may be good fishing. 
We drove from the Shingle Springs on Pleasant Valley Road to Sly Park Road, to the parking on our right, across the street from the Sly Park Education Center.  I call it the scenic route, but it is curvy and slower driving. The park is well marked with a standard forestry sign.
The other option is to take the Sly Park exit off of Highway 50 and follow signs toward Sly Park, Jenkinson Lake.  Pass the park entrance and at Mormon Emigrant road stay to the right to follow Sly Park Road less than two miles to the parking on your left for Cedar Park.

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