Explore the most popular mountain biking trails near Pilot Hill with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Not sure why this was rated as a hard trail, pretty level and easy hike and great swimming spot if you venture down to the river , however did not get 5 starts because two reasons. First it was very dusty my shoes were super dirty at the end mostly due to all the construction they have been doing on the road across and on the older buildings. I’ll definitely be back when they Finish the construction

hiking
19 days ago

We walked the short 2.6 mile loop in early May with a toddler, and a baby in a backpack. The trail is smooth and fairly level, great for little feet--a few rocks that tripped her up but nothing serious, and no scary drop-offs or dangerous cracks. Quite a bit of poison oak but hey, welcome to the foothills...! The trail is partially shaded, which made it wonderful in the Spring and probably tolerable in the summer, and there are several great places for a swim, and quite a few nice views along the route; there's even a toilet half way round, which is rather civilized!

The map only shows one loop, but there's an outer loop that runs closer to the river. To find it, turn left instead of right at the first fork in the trail (0.3 miles clockwise from the main Magnolia trailhead), it will take you down to a kayak put-in spot, and will join back up with the Gerle loop after a while.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun super easy trail, free parking.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike for all! Easy access and free parking.

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike to gauge your difficulty level. we started on the Gerle Loop but switch over to the other loop (Greenwood I believe?) which seems to mirror Gerle except it's down closer to the water and offers a variety of terrain which made it pretty interesting. we had a combination of trekkers with us, so it kept it interesting for those more comfortable while challenging the beginners a little more but not pushing too much at all. Great views of the river, pretty flowers and butterflies.. definitely will go back when wanting a nice easy trip. dog loved it also. Oh, and don't be thrown off when you pull in to the parking lot as it says Magnolia trail head.. you're at the right spot!

Fantastic little trail. Big open spaces, rolling hills, river access, great spots for a picnic with a view. Definitely an easy trail for two adults who are relatively fit. Did it in about 1.5 hours with stopping and short picnic. Did this at the end of December, no mud, no blazing sun.

Nice trail. The camp ground is Closed for the season right now. Several connector trails which is nice. You can customize the distance easily.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy hike. Lots of dogs, many off leash wandering so just be aware. Would definitely come back!

not sure why this is rated as 'hard'...it was actually more like 'easy'. Wide well kept dirt roads for trails, could tread with running shoes. Only saw one other person (I went Wednesday late afternoon in November) who also had their dog. Lots of horse poop, but there are nice bathrooms (sans water) at the trailhead and where the trail meets the river.

Easy hike for Sunday walk. Started from Cronan Ranch Trailhead to West Ridge Trail, headed to American River picnic area. Continued the hike via West Ravine Trail, with total of 6.8 miles. Nice view of hills and beware of shits on the trail. Overall, the trails have sign boards and map that easily to follow. It's open trail, need hat or umbrella on the hot day.

Fun hike to the river (which has tons of tables and seating). The trail is mostly sunny, hot and dusty with horses but very quiet! This was a relatively easy hike other than the heat.

This is 4.4 miles as per my tracker. Not the 2.5 miles listed. Easy hike though. Very nice.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail does not go down to the water! Since the picture that is posted of the trail on this site is of the river I thought it would go down to it, but it never did. Brought my kids on a hot day thinking we could jump into the river to cool off.

Just as other said . Watch out for rattlers ! Beautiful hike !

beautiful weather today, shade most of the trail. watch out for poison oak! there is a lot of it on the trail.

on Gerle Loop Trail

hiking
11 months ago

A nice trail with great views of the river. Would go on it again!

Moderate would be a better rating, but it was a beautiful day out and the River is moving well this year. A nice loop!

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Beautiful. Good for my kids ages 4 and 8. Well groomed. Lots of poison oak in shade. Will definitely be back.

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Beautiful, lots of wildlife, river access & lots of free parking. BRING SUNSCREEN - got very sunburnt even though it was not hot. Not a lot of shade.

Ok. Trial was pretty but not sure who rates the difficulty because it was not hard at all. It was borderline Easy-Moderate. Was excited for the challenge but ending up being lack luster.

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Scenic and shaded. Shorter hike with a little elevation change. Quiet and uncrowded. Nice river access towards the end. My dog went off leash and had a grand time.

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A lovely little trail. It was an easy hike for my mixed company of novices. The dogs loved it. The scenery was pretty in April and the river stop was a great spot to relax before heading back to the car.

hiking
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Beautiful, totally recommend it!

walking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beautiful trail and scenery.
Easy enough for kids to enjoy as well.

Took my dog with me and he loved it.

Saw many people biking and horse riding.

hiking
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Very easy trail! some awesome views of the American River!

hiking
Saturday, March 04, 2017

Beautiful trail, nice people, distant view of the roaring American river.

hiking
Friday, January 06, 2017

Most of the trail is shaded, while walking through the oaks and overlooking the SF American River in places. Magnolia Ranch is one of those wonderful places where the trees, river, and hills also accompany some great trails. Gerle Loop has minimal elevation changes making it great for all skill levels.

hiking
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Love this trail. It's a beautiful walk in and a pretty strenuous hike out !!!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Great trail to show someone what Mountain biking is about. Trail is easy enough for anyone. Also good running trail. You might see some horses on the trail also.

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

I would recommend this trail during spring or maybe autumn.
Here is my summer afternoon experience:
- First leg (from trail head to river access). No shade - except for a handful of trees. The scenery is a bit lackluster unless you are able to appreciate the dry golden hills in high temperatures. Don't get me wrong, I love to sink into calm, less dramatic scenery, but this time I did not want to pause a lot in the heat.
- Second leg (along the river). The river is accessible almost all along this section. So you can chose your own spot. There are a couple of wider beach-like places with benches, toilets. The canvas/tarp shade above some of the bench tables is a nice thought. I can't say a lot about swimming, I wasn't prepared for that, but it was nice to walk in the water and cool down. The current seemed to be pretty fast for a summer.
Be aware of rattlesnakes, I spotted one at the first place where I wanted to go in the water. It was coming from the water, luckily it paused in the middle of the path, so I could react in time.
- Third leg (from river to trail's end). We took the Long Valley Trail here, not the one marked with red on the map here, that I believe is Cronan Ranch road.) This was the most rewarding part. By then the sun already sunk under the hills to the west and the vegetation, due to the seasonal stream, was much more diverse. The birds and bees also came back to life, which added to the atmosphere.
Unfortunately I had to star-rate it to submit my review. I did not want to, because it is a bit unfair based only on a high heat summer afternoon. I'm sure a walk during springtime makes it deserve the average 4 stars that the trail got.
As for difficulty: easy. Not ADA, but I think the pitches are a bit overrated.

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