Coloma, CA (PressExposure) May 17, 2011 -- The grand opening of the South Fork American River Trail introduced a multiuse path to trail seekers; featuring unique ecological landscaping with views of the river below. It took nearly 20 years for the American River Conservancy (ARC) and the Bureau of Land management (BLM) to acquire $17 million dollars through grant funding, along with land exchanges and donations, needed to obtain the 2,632 acres of river canyon property.
The new trail presented an exciting new opportunity for Mother Lode River Center to expand their eco-educational programming; introducing families, corporate teams, students and individuals to environmentally friendly practices and ecological education.
Last year Mother Lode River Center was nominated as one of National Geographic's geo-tourism map destinations. With the opening of such a rich ecological trail, it was only natural that MaLode, as they call themselves, would take an interest in such an environmental experience.
The adventure starts by launching onto the river where rafts will ferry guests to the trailhead. The three mile hike begins winding up the hill on a path shaded by a variety of oaks, pines, buckeye, and wild bay trees. The trail is lined with tall green grassy knolls which eventually turn classic California gold. Hikers will be introduced to interesting sites along the trail to learn about local ecology, discuss local conservation efforts and opportunities while taking in beautiful vistas of the river below. There's plenty of wildlife to be seen as well; foxes, bobcats, raccoons, coyotes, martens, skunks, shrews, voles, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, salamanders, and dozens of bird species have all been spotted along the trail.
The hikers then become boaters; as the hike concludes, a delicious lunch is served, and then the hikers enjoy the adrenaline pumping thrills of whitewater rafting down the West's most popular run, the famous South Fork American River "Gorge". There is nothing else like it, and the few who have tried it so far are anxious to come back and bring their friends.