Need To Get Out Of The House? Here Are 5 Places That Are Awesome.

Practice social distancing outside where it’s a lot easier!

By kncitom on March 18, 2020

The one really great thing we still have going for us during this Coronavirus quarantine is, we can still go outside. We can walk our dogs, ride our bikes…Pat talked this morning about the kids in his neighborhood playing in the street like it was the 1950s or something. 

Granted, the weather’s been a little sketch but, you know what they say: There’s no bad weather, just bad gear. That’s especially true if you’re looking at least another couple weeks of being holed up at home. 

My wife and I, we try to get out regularly on weekends and take the dogs for hikes. And the wonderful thing is, we live in an area with TONS of open space, trails, and places to go where there’s a lot more than six feet between you and other people. As thought starters for you, here are 5 (click the title of each for more info)

  1. Boulder Ridge Park, Rocklin. This is an awesome little park I hesitated to even add to the list because I love it so much and it’s still mostly undiscovered to all but folks in the Roseville/Rocklin area. But, it’s too good to leave out. Especially since, for a lot of Placer County folks, it’s close. Also known as “Park on Park”, Boulder Ridge is located on a ridge above Stanford Ranch, on Park Drive. It’s got a huge grassy area, two really nice outdoor basketball courts, a small play area for kids and absolutely gorgeous views east towards the Sierra and west into the valley. There are a few short, easy trails that meander through stands of quiet hillside oak that give you the feeling you’re miles away from anything. Just be aware: some of the trails are off-limits and posted as such. Respect the signs and enjoy the views!
    beautiful views of the valley, minutes from stanford ranch


    2. Granite Bay State Park. As popular as this state park is (at the end of Douglas Boulevard in Granite Bay), I’m always kind of surprised when I talk to people who don’t know how big it actually is. The boat ramp and picnic areas near the park entrance get the bulk of visitors but keep driving! The paved park road continues another couple of miles, with plenty of places to turn off and park to walk down to the lake (great place for dogs but be mindful of others and leash laws are enforced). The hillsides of the park are also laced with great trails for hiking, mountain biking and horses. Some are multi-use, some are hiking/equestrian only so get familiar ahead of time with which are what. Favorite trail? There’s a great one for hikers and horses only that starts from the backside of the park, at Beek’s Bight and roughly follows the western shoreline of the lake for, really, as far as you want to go (it goes almost all the way to Auburn). Along the way there are some beautiful lake views and plenty of places to scramble down to the shoreline to play or fish (note: it is especially important you keep your dogs leashed on this trail because of equestrians. A horse spooked by a dog can throw its rider easily)

    fishing at sunrise, along the western shore of Folsom Lake, near Beek’s Bight

    3. Auburn State Recreation Area. I’ve always called this “the best closest place”, and it is! Miles and miles of trails radiate out from the confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the American River and wander down to or wayyy up above the waterway. It’s grown in popularity in recent years but deservedly so, and while parking could be a bit dicey (and there’s a $10 use fee), once you do get parked, shoulder your day pack and head out. This time of year is especially great because you’ll find seasonal waterfalls along some of the routes.

    American River Canyon from the Arrow Trail, Auburn SRA

      4. Snowshoeing at Donner Lake. Last couple entries here will address the fact that, yes, it’s still winter. But, one of the best things to do if you’re in any kind of reasonably good shape is rent a pair of snowshoes and head up to Donner Lake State Park. We’ve recently gotten the “March Miracle” snow dump we’ve all been waiting for, and stomping through the quiet forest from the visitor’s center out to the lake is one of the most peaceful experiences you can enjoy around here. 

Donner Lake in winter

5. Lake Tahoe Flume Trail. This is a world-renowned mountain bike trail in summer. But winter? It’s bliss. You’re starting at what would be the end of the Flume Trail for bike riders, off of Highway 28 near Incline Village. There’s parking on the side of the road but be careful crossing…cars zip through here fast. Once safely on the other side, find the wide trail (it’s really an old service road. You’ll hike past a few cabins before entering a space of forest on one side, and jaw-dropping views of Tahoe on the other that only get better the further up you go. And that’s the best part: you only have to go as far as you want, really. The views are almost constant. It’s a great dog trail too.

views of Lake Tahoe that will have your dog AND you wagging your tails

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