In Pilot Hill, California, you will find the Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, which has a little over 12 miles of trails for you and your pup to explore. The trailhead is on Pedro Hill Road, right off Highway 49. Being in the Sierra Foothills, you will see many native grasses such as purple needlegrass, California melic, and deergrass, with a sprinkling of vibrant oranges, purples, and blues of poppies, fiddlenecks, lupines, and other wildflowers.
One of the best things about the trail is that Fido can go off-leash. However, make sure your dog has good recall and keep a leash with you in case you need it. Most of your trip along the Cronan Ranch Regional Trail is forested by large pine, oak, willow trees, and buckeye, although on many sections of the trail you will not find much shade to protect you and your pooch from the California sun.
Many other creatures enjoy the ranch as well, including turtles, deer, and foxes. Birdwatchers will be happy to know that there are many varieties of fowl too, such as kites, eagles, swallows, quail, and hawks.
Although there are different sections of the trail such as the East Ridge, Down and Up, Hidden Valley Cutoff, West Ridge, West Ravine, Long Valley, and Gerle Loop, they are all connected to the same trail going around and through the entire ranch. Some of these sections have points of interest such as the South Fork American River, which you can see from a few of the sections like the Down and Up, Long Valley, and West Ravine. There are also picnic areas along every trail section.
The Gerle Loop is on the furthest west section by the Magnolia Ranch trailhead, and it has access to the Greenwood Creek River. There is also a bathroom available here, as well as on the southern tip of the trail by the Norton Ravine, the Cronan Ranch Road trailhead, and the Long Valley section by the waterfront picnic area. It is best to bring a map that you can get on the website or at the park office so you know exactly where everything is along the way. There is so much here, you and your pooch will have to come back again to see it all.