ARC announces winter hikes, special events
Red Shack Trail hike
Dec. 7: Donna Orth, ARC volunteer, will lead this (3.8 mile round-trip) hike from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The trail is a steep road which may discourage some, but takes hikers to the river near Racehorse Bend rapid and lots of great BLM land. Hikers will explore the old ditch that was in working order until the 1997 flood, which damaged it beyond reasonable repair. Steady rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Placerville area). Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.
80-year-old graffiti, 130-year-old grave, 4,000-year-old village, 5,000,000-year-old canyon … yes, this is a hike
Dec. 14: Guests will visit the site of a miner’s disappearance, an ancient village, and old graffiti at a fire lookout on this adventure from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guides for the day, Paul Whiting, who researches mining and Native American history of the region, and Evan Jones, who documents endangered trails of the Sierra. With their combined wealth of knowledge it’s always an exciting history class on their hikes. This hike is a moderate-difficult 5 miles round-trip with 300 feet in elevation gain. Ages 12 and older encouraged. Rain or shine. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Auburn area for carpool). Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.
KDD candle making
Dec. 14 & 15: The Nature Center will once again host a candle-making craft, 10:30 to 3 p.m., during Marshall Gold State Historic Park’s Christmas in Coloma event. This is a great place to bring the kids or the whole family and create a handmade gift for the holidays. Cost is $2 each or three for $5.
Wakamatsu historical tours
Dec. 21, Jan. 5 and Feb. 1: Join ARC-trained docents from 10 a.m. to noon for a historical tour of property recently acquired by the American River Conservancy. This ranch is an interesting mosaic of springs, streams, wetlands, blue and live oak forest, sweeping vistas and prime agricultural soil. Ranch ponds and the small lake are a draw for wildlife, particularly migratory waterfowl, during the winter and early spring. Along with its beauty, learn about the rich history of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm, the first Japanese Colony site established in America in 1869. Mature children 12 and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Gold Hill/Placerville area) and to sign up. Cost is $5 for children ages 12-18 and $10 for adults.
Mushroom presentation and walk
Jan. 11: Robert Mackler, an ARC volunteer naturalist, will offer this PowerPoint presentation and question-and-answer session to answer any and all questions you may have about mushrooms from 10 a.m. to noon. From history and culture to recipes and which mushrooms to avoid, he’ll have the answers. There will be a show-and-tell for participants who are asked to bring in whole mushroom specimens in good condition or good photos. Weather permitting we’ll take a walk in the park to see living examples of fungi. Responsible teens and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Coloma) and to sign up. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.
Salmon Falls Ranch hike
Jan. 25: Enjoy breathtaking views and rolling hills at the Salmon Falls Ranch property from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This 757-acre working ranch was acquired in 2012 by ARC to protect wildlife habitat and provide additional areas for recreational trail use. This area is not yet open to the public. Hike leader TBD. This is a moderately paced 4-mile hike. Ages 8 and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Salmon Falls Road near Skunk Hollow) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $10.
Soapstone carving class
Jan. 25: Join James Marquez and reveal your hidden talents while learning this ancient craft of soap stone carving from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. No previous experience or abilities required. Everyone takes home their beautifully created sculpture. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.
Folk tales on the farm
Feb. 9: Join storytellers Martha De Aquino and Leslie Rose from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. as you take a hike through the rolling countryside near Coloma, stopping along the way to hear folk and fantasy tales about the nature we pass through. To honor the setting of Wakamatsu, there will be some Japanese folk tales mixed into the program. Children age 3 and older welcome with adult supervision. Strollers OK. Rain will re-locate to inside Graner House on same property. Call for meeting location (Gold Hill/Placerville area) and to sign up. this event is free; donations encouraged.
El Dorado Ranch hike
Feb. 22: The newest ARC acquisition, the 1,059-acre El Dorado Ranch, fronts the free-flowing Cosumnes River and is a working cattle ranch. It boasts 360-degree views of the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento Valley, a historic homestead and a vast expanse of blue oak woodland are features of this property that are not to be missed. Hike leader TBD; hike is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is approximately 5 miles with some uphill climbs and rocky terrain. Ages 8 and older welcome. Call for meeting location and to sign up. Suggested donation is $10.
American River Conservancy is celebrating 25 years of community service. All programs require pre-registration unless noted and no dogs are allowed on ARC hikes unless stated. For more information call (530) 621-1224 or e-mail [email protected].