Hiking Avery's Pond Trail in Placer County
Newcastle, CA- 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 Placer County Travel & Adventure
Fun and colorful experiences of fun places to visit in Placer County and surrounding areas. Invite our local travel editors today!VIEW MORE TRAVEL ARTICLES
Make It Happen!
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesBuying a Home is Still Better Than RentingRoseville, CA-- Home prices continue to rise faster than incomes and new employment, but it is still more cost efficient to own a home than to rent.
Parking Fees being levied at Hidden FallsAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County's Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn is a gem of a park. Unfortunately, parking can be hard to find, especially during weekends
$22.5 Million Approved for Placer County BuildingsAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County Board of Supervisors approve an investment plan that will allocate a minimum of $4.5 million annually over the next five years
Placer SPCA Sees Success in Waiving Adoption FeesRoseville, Calif. - Adoption fees are waived for all animals, without exception, at the Placer SPCA during the month of August for its "full hearts, empty kennels" campaign
Classic Car Show in Grass Valley August 25(Grass Valley, CA) Cascades of Grass Valley, a senior living community located at 415 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley, will be hosting a classic car show on Friday, August 25
Warriors Set to Start 2017 Volleyball CampaignROCKLIN, Calif. - The William Jessup women's volleyball team will start the season this week hosting the Warrior Invitational
Podcasts for Fundraising Professionals and DonorsWith that goal in mind, Eric Hogue and David Pineschi of William Jessup University are regularly producing light-hearted podcasts each month
Mono County Events for Scenic Adventure SeekersMONO COUNTY, Calif. - After record-setting snowfall that refilled lakes and rivers, leaving glistening snow on high peaks and meadows below
Lowest Reported Gas Prices in RosevilleRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville and Rocklin are holding relatively steady as residents shift from summer vacations back to school and work
WJU Volleyball signs Isabella MauricioROCKLIN, Calif. - The women's volleyball head coach, Shasta Millhollin announced the signing of Isabella Mauricio from Foster City, Calif. to the 2017-18 roster.
Foam Fest Craft Beer and Live Music Festival[Olympic Valley, Calif.] - Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West) will host its 28th annual "Foam Fest" fundraising event
The Great Banquet in Roseville October 7thROSEVILLE, Calif., - Joni and Friends Sacramento will hold its fourth bi-annual event titled "The Great Banquet" at Bayside Church in Roseville on October 7, 2017
NEWS: In Case You Missed It