Hidden Falls Regional Park
Placer’s Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project to enter first phase of construction
Published on July 13, 2023
Hidden Falls Regional Park reached a significant milestone on Tuesday with the Placer County Board of Supervisors approving a contract to build a new trailhead and parking lot, which will expand recreational opportunities while preserving the natural beauty of the area.
The Twilight Ride Access and Parking/Trailhead Project is the first phase and major infrastructure component of the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project approved by the Board of Supervisors in March 2021.
“The Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project aims to enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors while preserving the county's precious natural resources,” said Placer County Parks Administrator Andy Fisher. "This ambitious endeavor is a testament to Placer County's dedication to sustainable growth, environmental stewardship and the creation of outdoor spaces that inspire both physical activity and a deep appreciation for nature.”
The initial construction phase focuses on the development of a parking lot located at 5345 Bell Road in Auburn, just northeast of the main park entrance, boasting 54 automobile parking stalls and 20 equestrian parking stalls.
The newly constructed parking lot will initially grant access to approximately 8 miles of existing trails within the adjacent 481-acre Taylor Ranch and Kotomyan preserves, commonly referred to as the Big Hill Preserve properties.
These preserves are protected and maintained by the Placer Land Trust, a long-time county partner and land steward that works with landowners to protect natural and agricultural lands in Placer County.
“This ambitious project would not be possible without our invaluable partnership with the Placer Land Trust,” said Fisher. “We cannot wait for park visitors to experience what will be one of the largest parks in the region. The new property will offer great views from the Sierra snowcaps all the way to the coast range.”
This integration seamlessly merges existing trail networks, creating an enhanced recreational experience for visitors. As the project progresses, future phases will focus on connecting the entire trail system within Hidden Falls and expanding properties, resulting in a total of approximately 60 miles of trails across over 4,000 acres of open space.
Visitors will benefit from a range of new facilities, including a restroom equipped with a drinking fountain, a ranger station, informational kiosks, comprehensive signage, and a picnic area complete with tables.
We are thrilled to embark on the first phase of the project," said Placer County District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. "This project represents our commitment to providing accessible and well-designed recreational spaces for our community that address the neighbors’ concerns and provide the public with recreational opportunities. We look forward to the continued growth and development of this extraordinary trail system, enabling residents and visitors to explore and enjoy the natural wonders of Placer County."
The phase also incorporates the installation of equestrian watering stations, mounting blocks and hitching posts, catering to the needs of equestrian enthusiasts.
The new trailhead is expected to open to the public in late 2024 or early 2025.
Given the known popularity of Hidden Falls, parking reservations will be required at the Bell Road entrance seven days a week.
The county has received $3 million in grant funding for the project from the Recreational Trails and Greenways grant program funded by Proposition 68 - The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018.
The project is also supported with $2.9 million in county general funds and local park dedication fees.
For more information about the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails and Open Space Expansion Project, please visit https://www.placer.ca.gov/2537/Hidden-Falls-Regional-Park-Trail-Network.