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Searching for George Reppert’s grave site at Folsom Lake

From the shoreline of Granite Bay Beach Park at Folsom Lake you can probably see where Mr. Reppert was buried in 1849 in an unmarked grave far away from home and family. The death and burial of this gold rush miner comes to us from a fellow traveler and miner who wrote about his experiences […]


Granite Bay Golf Club uses recycled and spring water for irrigation

When it comes to water conservation in the face of our current 2014 drought situation, golf courses, with the numerous acres under irrigation, come under intense scrutiny. This is why I wanted to talk with my fellow San Juan Water District Drought Committee member Matt Dillon who is the Golf Course Superintendent at Granite Bay […]


Anderson Island Bridge and Zantgraf Mine hike

The east side of the north fork of the American River is challenging to hike because of the lack of accessibility and rugged terrain along the Folsom Lake. After I discovered the abutment for a bridge on the west side of the river, I had to get to Anderson Island on the other side. Not only was I able to find the suspension bridge cables, I found the ruins of Zantgraf mine which is fairly well preserved.


Riding and Hiking the North Fork Ditch at Folsom Lake

The low water levels of Folsom Lake in this drought year of 2014 offer unprecedented opportunities for hiking and biking around usually water-logged historical sites. The fully exposed North Fork Ditch offers a relatively flat trail for mountain biking from Beeks Bight up to Horseshoe Bar. At certain locations, you’ll need to park the bike […]


Hiking down the Folsom Lake Peninsula

The peninsula was once a major thoroughfare for gold prospectors and commerce from Sacramento to the mines on the western side of the north fork of the American River. Today, the chunk of land known as the Peninsula Campground is isolated and decidedly very quiet as travel to this state park is a circuitous drive […]


Table Mountain Cherokee Hydraulic Mining District

A group of Native Americans from Georgia settled in the area working the exposed auriferous gravel deposit north of Table Mountain and called the area Cherokee. By 1855 there were several small placer mining operations working the ground. By 1873 they had built the largest inverted siphon to carry water across the Feather River.


Mt. Judah and Donner Pass Hike

The original transcontinental tunnels and snow sheds over Donner Summit were abandoned in 1993 for the tunnel under Mt. Judah. After hiking to the top of Mt. Judah you can walk the many miles of tunnels and cliffs blasted out by Chinese labor in the 1860’s. The concrete snow sheds that replaced the wooden coverings that were prone to fire from the steam engine embers, is now a canvass for graffiti art.


Independence Trail Walk by South Yuba River

Maybe you can’t walk back in time, but you certainly can walk through part of California’s water history. Dug by hand in the side of the hill above the south fork of the Yuba River, the abandoned water canal and flumes have been transformed into a fairly easy, wheelchair accessible, hike. Named appropriately the Independence Trail, it’s more of a walk than a hike.


Humbug Trail Waterfalls and Tunnels

The destination was the outlet of the great North Bloomfield Tunnel that dumped gold bearing sediment from Malakoff Diggins into Mercury laden sluice flumes. We had seen the sign at the head of Humbug Trail indicating the trail was closed because of a damaged bridge. A little bridge doesn’t stop hikers on a mission…usually. But this one did.


Trails to Rails: Rush Ranch and Western Railway Museum

The new age of electricity ushered in the mass transit possibility of street cars. Even today the sight of an electric trolley car rolling down the tracks in this sparsely populated portion of California looks out of place. But the scenery of wheat fields, cattle and sheep grazing has changed little since the first trolley line rolled through the Montezuma Hills.


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