This gem maintained by the Placer County Parks Division offers 30 miles of trails in Auburn’s oak woodlands appealing to mountain bikers of all skill levels. Poppy Loop runs counterclockwise around the park’s perimeter. Start on South Legacy Way and continue taking left turns onto Pheasant, Golden Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, Mourning Dove and Gold Finch trails. After you cross the bridge, stay to your left and hit Grey Squirrel Trail, climb back up, then return along Deer Trail or the Deer Trail Reroute to River Otter, back to Legacy to finish.
Distance: About 11 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to intermediate, with 1,250 feet of climbing
Parking: At the trailhead; reservations are required on weekends, holidays and other peak-use days ($8 full day, $4 partial day). Park use is free on weekdays and reservations are not required. Check placer.ca.gov/6106/Hidden-Falls-Regional-Park for updates before you go.
Restrooms: In the parking lot
Beware: There is neither potable water nor concessions at Hidden Falls; bring plenty of water, as well as lunch or snacks. Take care to yield to equestrians and others on the trail. If it has rained, the park may close temporarily to prevent erosion.
Things to see and do: Every inch of this trail is beautiful, and it changes as you explore it, with woods, pools, bridges, overlooks and waterfalls. You might even come across grazing livestock.