If you want to explore nature’s beauty without having to leave the city, El Dorado Trail may be pawrfect for you. In fact, you and your pooch can enjoy the seven miles of El Dorado Trail starting at the Mosquito Road Station parking lot for a gorgeous tree-filled stint of nature in the middle of Placerville, California. The best thing about starting from here is that you can have a bite to eat before or after your hike since you are close to so many restaurants, cafés, and convenience stores. However, it is also filled with natural areas such as the Randolph Canyon and Spanish Ravine within the first mile of the trail.
Parking is available at the Mosquito Road Placerville Station lot for free, but it fills up fast on the weekends. Cozmic Café, Ivy House, or several other lots in the area also offer parking, but be aware that some of these lots have fees ranging from $1 to $6, so bring some cash. You will have tons of shade from the mature pine and cedar trees on this section of the hike. There’s also an amazing number of sweet-smelling flowers here dotting the forest with colors where you and your pooch can stop and take some selfies for your scrapbook.
Most of the El Dorado Trail runs alongside the old train tracks that were used by the lumber companies to move lumber from Sacramento to Camino. You will also be walking along the banks of the Hangtown Creek, which usually has some wild critters like lizards, turtles, waterfowl, woodchucks, beavers, and just about any other wildlife, you can think of. The trail is partially paved, but much of it is natural and may be difficult for anybody with a stroller or in a wheelchair.
About two miles in, you will have to cross a large road and walk on the shoulder of the road for a short bit before meeting the trail again. There are a few more street crossings along the way and some urban areas where there are businesses close by, so you can take a break if needed. Water and restrooms are available at some stops along the trail here. This part of the trail has an incline, and you and Fido will definitely get a pawesome workout if you do the whole seven miles. However, just remember that it is all downhill on the way back.