Danielle S. on Howard Ranch Trail
It was a good day to go. Cloudy and cool. Otherwise there wouldn't have been much shade. Beautiful views but not a lot of diversity. Would like to check out in other seasons.
I was happy that there were no mosquitos ! The spring wildflowers are blooming and it looks like a sea of yellow! Only complaint is that some of the trail was hidden under a vernal pool. Be prepared to get your shoes wet. This is a great, easy walk on mostly flat ground with lovely views of cows grazing and wildflowers.
Nice loop. I parked on 104 (twin cities) and ran 1 mile up, then almost 1 mile to the trail head. Total run back to my car was 10.2. Nice flat run but pretty boring as far as scenery. It was a clear day so I could see snowy mountains off in the distance. Not dog friendly. A good place to access a trail since I live about 45 minutes from the american river.
Nancy S. on Howard Ranch Trail
If California ever has a good rain season, this trail may be worth it. But if you just want to get exercise, this walk will do it.
This is a beautiful trail that is flat and accessible by just about everyone. Wonderful for Fall, Winter, Spring trail running and early morning in the summer. I just started running (2, 5k's under my belt) but I ran this in 1.5 hours.
This is one that you can keep coming back to.
Quite beautiful in the spring, green grasses, flowers blooming. The first mile or so (also the last mile) next to the lake is especially beautiful. Lots of birds. Once you get out past the lake, the rest of the trail is through cow pasture. The map shown here is not correct; this map shows the road that goes around the lake. Here is a link to a trail map: https://www.smud.org/en/about-smud/community/recreational-areas/documents/0073-12-howard-ranch-factsheet.pdf. The trail is seven miles, making a loop through cow pastures of a working ranch, and then back by the lake where you started. There are vernal pools which can be filled with wildflowers, but not so much this time. They even have guided walks with naturalists in the spring. I would rate this as easy, best in the spring and maybe the fall. It costs $10 to park.
Grateful to have been outdoes, beautiful views off in the far distance, you could see the mountains and we certainly got some exercise...the trail (if we were actually on it the whole way) was riddles with cow pies, yes to be expected...pelts of castle and muddy ground. We lost the trail at some point, so we followed the fence line. Not a trail we will revisit.