If you live in Sacramento or anywhere near the Interstate 80 corridor through the Sierra Nevada foothills, Hidden Falls Regional Park near Auburn in the Gold Country foothills should be on your “must do” excursion list, even if it’s not waterfall season.
The cascade that gives the park its name is a 30- to 50-foot, roaring wall of water in spring and a quieter destination at other times of year. Last spring, the park was expanded from 200 to 1,200 acres, with several new trails and two new bridges, each more than 100 feet long, providing access to previously unreachable sections of the park. The hike to Hidden Falls is an easy, 5.6-mile loop that can be shortened or lengthened according to your and Fido’s inclinations. Opportunities for your four-legged friend to drink and splash are available at many points along Deadman and Coon creeks, and you’ll both enjoy the vistas of Seven Pools, a series of rockbound depressions that fill with water after a rain.
A caveat for DogTrekkers: Trails in the park are shared by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, and dogs must be leashed at all times. The rule-of-thumb is that cyclists yield to horses and hikers, while hikers yield to equestrians. If you see or hear a horse approaching, step off the trail on the low side to let the animals pass. Never approach a horse unannounced from the rear, as you could cause it to spook, bolt, throw its rider or cause a serious accident.