Hiking Placer County: Avery's Pond Trail
On a Tuesday morning, with a balmy, sunny 80+ degrees in the forecast and a few hours of early morning work already completed, the outdoors beckoned. I decided to take the call.
Sometimes, choosing a hike is no easy decision. Should I opt for an easy stroll or a shin busting marathon? Was the High Country or Foothills calling? Should I go with the tried and true of a favorite trail or explore a new adventure? After a few minutes on Google Maps, I opted for a new trek at Rattlesnake Bar in Newcastle. It's proximity to Roseville would be the deciding factor on this day.
Within a half hour, I was at the gate of Rattlesnake Bar. A conversation with the young attendant offered little hope. He informed me that it was primarily a boat launch with not much hiking and a $12 parking fee. Thankfully, there are a few dirt parking spots just before you enter, so parking and walking in for free seemed the better choice. With no expectation of hiking, I didn't plan on staying more than a few minutes to check things out.
Almost immediately upon entering the park, I came upon a smiling woman on horseback. She didn't appear to be launching a boat, so I chatted her up. She pointed me to a narrow trail that seemed more appropriate for a deer, but her enthusiasm sold me and off I went.
The trail quickly broke through dense forest onto a sunlit ridge where I could see parts of the North Fork of the American River. I became hopeful. The trails were bursting with wildflowers and it was impossible not to notice the abundance of active, orange, black, and purple adorned butterflies who were seemingly quite happy to participate in my photo shoot. I thanked them, said goodbye and pressed on.
Destination: Avery's Pond
Continuing north, the wooded trail gently rose higher to offer stunning views of the North Fork below. The opposing shoreline was blanketed with vivid, purple wildflowers offering a stark contrast to the green covered hills. There is a lot for the senses to take in and time easily slips away on this trail each time you find yourself stopping to absorb a portion of it. Before long, I arrived at the diminutive, yet character filled Avery's Pond which is adjacent and a stone's throw from the river. The pond has a short loop trail that encircles it and offers a great opportunity to take a break, have a picnic and enjoy the beauty.
At first glance, Avery's Pond was rather quiet and uneventful. Looking a bit more closely, it became clear that I was in some sort of Turtle Nirvana. Despite being shy creatures, it quickly became impossible to count all the turtles. Some were floating and playing dead, while others with their tiny heads just above the waterline were effortlessly swimming at a turtle's pace. I was wishing the whole family came along for the hike.
Cool Off and Quick Swim
After Turtle Nirvana, a short walk down to the river which was clear and cool on this April morning offered sweeping views of the shoreline and a picture perfect end to an amazing hike. It was time to retrace my steps and call it a day.
Avery's Pond Trail is an easy, family-friendly hike just a short 15-30 minute ride by car from the Roseville and Rocklin area. I entered at Rattlesnake Bar in Newcastle. $12 parking fee if you need to use the paved lot or boat launch. Great water views, opportunity to enjoy wildlife, water access and plenty of wildflowers. Bring plenty of water and a snack. Weekdays are best.
Update 2016: Money grab: The small, dirt lot just outside park that provided some free parking for hikers is no longer available due to No Parking signs. Hikers now must drive all the way down by the boat launch or horse assembly area to park and make the long trek back up the road to access some of the trails. On the upside, the trailhead available next to the boat launch makes the hike to Avery's Pond shorter and easier for those that may need it.
View Larger Map
About Travel and Entertainment
Unique and insightful experiences of destinations throughout California and the west. Schedule a visit from our Travel & Entertainment editors.VIEW MORE TRAVEL ARTICLES
Make It Happen!
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesChicago the TRIBUTE to play Opera House Saloon in Roseville(ROSEVILLE, CA) - Chicago the TRIBUTE, a 9-piece tribute to the band with the horns and hits will be playing the Opera House Saloon Roseville on Thursday, March 30
Roseville Criminal Activity Heats UpRoseville, CA- As the weather heats up, so does Roseville criminal activity. The Roseville police log digest update for the ten-day period covering March 10-20, 2017.
Free STD and STI Testing and Treatment in Roseville(Roseville, CA) - Sierra Pregnancy & Health (SPH) announced they have begun offering free testing and treatment for STD/STIs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia
Placer County Government Center ProposalAUBURN, Calif. -- After considerable analysis, stakeholder engagement, design and planning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors were presented a plan for a re-envisioned Placer County Government
Ghost in the Shell coming to IMAXGhost in the Shell: An IMAX 3D Experience opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on March 30 at 7:00 p.m
Auburn Art Walk begins April 7The Auburn Art Walk will take place on the first Friday of April, June, August and October 2017, from 6 pm to 9 pm
Achieve Tahoe to Host Ability Challenge Fundraiser at Squaw ValleyAlpine Meadows, CA - Achieve Tahoe, a leading provider of winter and summer adaptive sports instruction at all ability levels for adults and children with disabilities
Guys and Dolls at William Jessup University in AprilROCKLIN, CA. - William Jessup University's Creative Arts department presents Guys and Dolls for six weekend performances, starting April 7-8-9.
Prenatal Health Services to begin at Auburn Health CenterAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce that its Auburn Health Center will begin providing prenatal health services to patients starting this week.
Roseville Skatetown to Host Curling BonspielRoseville, CA -Brand New Barrel Bonspiel Brings 16 California Curling Teams to Roseville on March 24-26.
Placer Valley Tourism to operate Placer County FairgroundsAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved Placer Valley Tourism, a private nonprofit organization, as the new operator of the Placer County Fairgrounds
Roseville Gas Price Competition StiffensRoseville, CA - Competition has stiffened as Roseville gas prices were mostly flat during this past week.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It