Sweet Roll El Dorado

Bike the El Dorado Trail Near Apple Hill in Placerville

Woman biking on the El Dorado Trail in Placerville

Step out of the car and onto a biking trail that resembles fall in Vermont. Just 40 miles from Sacramento, the El Dorado Trail in Placerville is a multi-use trail through the county with 12.5 paved miles. There are several ways to start the trail. If you’re looking for a nice bike ride or walk through the beautiful foothills, then start at Jacquier Road trailhead (map) and head east. 

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You’ll have pavement for 3.5 miles (7 mile round-trip). Pedal the trail that ascends so gently it’s almost imperceptible (though you may have to switch to an easier gear). You’ll pass over the freeway on a pedestrian bridge (no cars). Keep rolling amid a forest flanked by charming gold country homes, and a forest filled with the earth tones of fall. The pavement eventually runs out, a good place to turn around. Or you can continue onto the wide dirt trail that’s flat and uncomplicated. Flip it whenever you’re ready. A bonus: The ride back is mostly a coaster—very little pedaling required … wheeeeeee!

BONUS FOOD AND DRINKS: Apple Hill near Placerville in the foothills is much more than just a hill—it’s a collection of over 50 local farms, ranches, and wineries. You’re in for a treat at Rainbow Orchards, home of the hot apple cider donut.

Two apple cider donuts from Rainbow Orchards on Apple Hill

The wine in this region is diverse and delicious. Bring your own lunch and sit outside at Placerville’s historic Boeger Winery (reservation is recommended).

Women enjoying wine around a fire pit at Boeger Winery in Placerville Apple Hill

Delfino Farms has a lot going on: It’s got a bakery, a winery, a cider distillery, and panoramic views over the autumn-clad foothills. (Don’t miss getting a slice of the Walkin’ Pie with a scoop of ice cream.)

Walkin' pie with a scoop of ice cream from Delfino Farms in Apple Hill El Dorado County

If your idea of holiday cheer is beer, head to Jack Russell Farm Brewery for a seasonal IPA, a hard cider, or some tasty mead. Enjoy it at one of the picnic tables dotting the expansive outdoor space.

Jack Russell Farm Brewery in Apple Hill El Dorado County near Placerville

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