Quarry Trail is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cool, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Walk along the river where the historic railway once traveled and end up at a stunning amphitheater of carved limestone This great hike along the Middle Fork of the American River ends in a spectacular amphitheater of sheer limestone walls rising around you. Enjoy the natural beauty of the American river canyon and also pass by an enormous cave that was the site of both paleontologic excavations and more mining activities. Learn about the plants and animals present today in the canyon environment as well as the mining history of the region. The trail is wide and smooth (some people even push baby strollers on it) and is mostly level in grade with the exception of the last bit up to the quarry. The trail follows the path of the old railway that was used to carry out the limestone. When it existed, the railway had standard gauge sized tracks and the cars were actually backed down the path 4 times daily to be filled with limestone and taken 7 miles to Auburn for cement production. In 1942 the railroad tracks were taken out for scrap iron for WWII. The state charges a day-use fee for every car parked in the parking area. This mixture of dirt road and singletrack trail is not always clearly marked, especially as it passes through the old quarry. Trail is great year-round but April -June is best for wildflowers.
Great trail I would give it 5 stars except that there is hardly any parking nearby so get here early and bring your poppy pass or cash, it's all paid parking even on the sides of the road.
There are a lot of trails if you go back past the waterfall. I hiked about 8 miles on a few different trails. The trail signs are a little confusing so make sure you take a map so you don't get lost like I did!
We could not go beyond after about 1.5 miles. Too much water made a creek that was running across the trail blocked us so we had to turn around.