American River Conservancy announces summer programs, hikes

By May 8, 2012

Summer Cinema series: 7:30 to 9 p.m. on June 8, July 13 & Aug. 10
Pending Grange approval… ARC is partnering with the Gold Trail Grange in Coloma. We’ll host three great environmental movies this summer: “Greenfire in June, “Bag it” (tbd) in July and “The Lorax” in August. Bring your cup or water bottle. Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. The grange is located at 319 Highway 49, Coloma. (Contact ARC or the Grange after May to confirm sanction). Suggested donation is $5 per person.

Wakamatsu historical tours: 9 to 11 a.m. on June 9 & 24 and Aug. 18, moonlight hike from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on July 28
Join ARC-trained docents for a historical tour of property recently acquired by ARC. 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 America in 1869. Mature children 12 and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Gold Hill area) and to sign up. Cost is $5 for children 12 to 18 years old and $10 for adults.

Walk with Trees, River and Stones: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 2
The intention of the walk is to experience a fluid intimacy with nature. We won’t emphasize naming or “getting there.” Instead we’ll try out simple and interesting methods to focus attention and widen awareness on the trail. These practices often lead to grace-filled moments of aliveness and joy beyond our ordinary boundaries. Perhaps some of us will touch the mystery and presence in nature’s beings and forces. Meditators and nature lovers are welcome, but this is not a walk for children under 16 unless very mature. Compared to native peoples before us we ourselves are babies in this kind of walking, but we crave it because it is home. John Robert blends decades of meditating and wandering the backcountry in this hike — 3 to 5 miles, beginner to intermediate, elevation gains but slowly. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (TBD). Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Robie Point to Tamaroo Bar hike: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 3
ARC volunteers Donna Orth and Marcia Paulson will begin your hike on the Western States Trail in Auburn, hiking down to Tamaroo Bar and on to a sandy beach on the American River close to the proposed Auburn Dam site. You will stop for a break/lunch on the beach before heading back to Tamaroo and then up a steep trail through the woods to make a partial loop back to our cars. Much of these trails are new and are undocumented. This is an intermediate five-mile hike with 800 feet elevation change. The last mile is quite steep and is not for beginning hikers. Ages 12 and older with adult supervision welcome. Steady rain postpones. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Auburn area). Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Family Nature Talk and Nature Walk: 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 3
Kenny Ballentine is a parent of two, an avid hiker and the director of the new documentary film, Nature Kids. This event will include a brief discussion on the importance of getting kids outside and reconnected to the natural world, a free nature craft, and a guided nature walk. Parents, children and family members of all ages are encouraged to participate. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Donations towards the Nature Kids film are encouraged.

Donner Pass — An Unheralded National Treasure: 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 7
The Donner Pass area is an unheralded national treasure, with many reminders of our early history. This small geographic area has had a huge impact on the history and development of California from earliest times to the present. Learn about this often overlooked historical treasure chest and its impact on California’s development. Join Sheila Toner as she outlines the major events that transpired there since earliest times. No place else in California has had as much impact on California over such a long time period as this area. You may have driven over the pass many times, but you will look at the area differently after hearing this presentation. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Tracks, Scat and Wildlife signs left behind: 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 9
Join naturalist/photographer David Rosen and learn how to become a better wildlife detective! Investigate a variety of methods to discover what wildlife lives around us, even if you can’t see the animals themselves! We’ll investigate animal tracks, trails, fur, feathers, pellets, scat (otherwise known as poop), and other signs of wildlife on our walk. We will check several baited track stations and discuss how you can set up a track station in your own yard. Also, we’ll check a remote game camera and see if it captured any photos of animals passing by. With field guides we will practice identifying animal tracks and then make a plaster cast of an animal track to take home! Rain cancels. Age 8 and older welcome. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Fleming Meadows hike: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 16
These trails span a two-square-mile area of old logging roads and a railroad grade that circumnavigates the big Fleming Meadow. Numerous trails, some easy, some steeper; named for the Fleming family who settled as pioneers in the area. Kay Osborn will lead this easy-moderate hike, approximately 4 miles. Ages 8 and older welcome. Rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Placerville area). Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Mosquito Ridge trail hike: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17
The Mosquito Ridge trail, near Foresthill, is part of an old pack trail which dates from the 19th century. The trail linked mines from Dutch Flat, Damascus, Michigan Bluff, and points east. It required 3 bridges. Only the one we will visit remains in its original form, and dates from about 1910.  We will visit a replica monument on the trail, a memorial to a Greek miner who died near Michigan Bluff in 1881. Hike is 5 miles and moderately strenuous. Call for carpool meeting location (Auburn area) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Wild America: River inspired Painting Class: 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 23
Playfully create with pen & watercolor to paint the natural beauty that thrives along the American River. No art experience necessary, as we will be learning techniques for drawing animals and flowers, mixing nature’s colors with paint, and methods to make texture and pattern. We will spend time being inspired by the outdoors, then draw and paint to complete a painting of what we love about the wild American River. Susan Keale uses pen, colored pencils, gouache, and watercolor to illustrate flora, fauna, and symbolic images. Susan has worked in the arts since college as a painter, floral designer, gallery director, and arts educator. Ages 12 and older welcome. Call to sign up (Coloma area) and for supplies list. Fee is $40 for members, $50 for non-members.

Dog Hike at Cronan Ranch: 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29
Join volunteer and local resident Gail Cline for a casual walk at ARC’s “claim-to-fame” Cronan Ranch. For well socialized dogs only — can be off leash if under control (bring leash). This will be an easy walk on gentle hills. Approximately 3-4 miles. All ages welcome. Call for meeting location (Pilot Hill area) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

River Poems: A Creativity Class: 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14
Rivers move people, literally, by inspiring description and metaphor. In “River Poems” we will read, write, move, mumble, mutter, and reflect as a way of exploring the significance of rivers to the art of poetry and life. Walt Whitman wrote in the preface to his self-published “Leaves of Grass” that a country’s poet “incarnates its geography and natural life and rivers and lakes.” Join in incarnating rivers for a few hours. For more than 10 years, Alexa Mergen has inspired people to read and write poetry by infusing workshops with creativity. Ages 16 and older welcome. Visit for more information on her work. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Illustrated Story Books: “Animals along the American River” (two-day class): 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 21 & 22
Following in the storybook illustrator’s tradition of Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor, we will draw and paint two short stories. From the stories we will make two books with covers: one folded-pages and one accordion. No experience necessary. You will learn illustrating and watercolor techniques, how to decorate the book-cover with texture, and how to bind your book together. This is a great activity for all and makes great gifts for family and friends. Susan Keale is a California-based visual artist working in watercolor, colored pencil, and art journals. She earned a BA from the University of Northern Colorado and an MA from California State University, Chico. Susan has studied art and art history in conjunction with world religions. Ages 12 and older welcome. Call to sign up (Coloma area) and for supplies list. Fee is $80 for members, $100 for non-members.

Woods Lake to Winnemucca wildflower hike: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 4
Kay Osborn will take you through forest and meadow with beautiful wildflowers and around Woods Lake. You will then hike up a steeper, open trail to Round Top Lake with views of distant peaks. After lunch you’ll head down the outlet creek and back to the parking. This is a seven mile moderate to intermediate hike. Fit hikers ages 10 and older are welcome with adult supervision. Call to sign up and for meeting location (Placerville area). Suggested donation is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

All programs require pre-registration unless noted. No dogs allowed on ARC hikes unless specified. Call (530) 621-1224 or contact [email protected].

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