DogTrekkers who have discovered the delights of Hidden Falls Regional Park a few miles off Interstate 80 near Auburn soon will have more to bark about this dog-friendly location. This spring, the curtain will come up on an expansion that takes the foothills preserve from 221 to 1,200 acres and extends the multi-use trail system from 7 to 30 miles. A second observation deck at the falls has been added, along with interpretive signs and paths offering scenic views of riparian habitat along a three-mile stretch of Coon Creek. Two bridges, each more than 100 feet long, provide access to newly opened reaches of the park.
Hidden Falls, whose furious roar can be heard long before the 30- to 50-foot cataract can be seen, flows year-round but is at its gushiest in spring. The 5.6-mile loop trail to the viewing area is rated easy and is best enjoyed before hot weather sets in. Start early, bring drinking water for you and your pooch and enjoy the green, green grass of spring. A caveat: because the trail is shared by hikers, cyclists and equestrians, it’s essential to keep Spot on a leash, yield to horses and otherwise observe proper trail etiquette.