Fun in Foresthill
Imagine a divide of land that straddles two forks of a pristine river. The river offers all manner of recreation, including Class II to V rapids and 12 rafting companies to serve 18 miles of the sometimes meandering, sometimes rushing body of water. The river also offers great fishing, with fishermen boasting huge catches of brown and rainbow trout. In addition, the area has four reservoirs that offer fishing in nearby streams, as well as camping, hiking and hunting.
There’s also a large lake for swimming, boating and waterskiing and myriad hiking trails on a well-defined loop system. Horseback riding and kyaking are popular here, as well as mountain biking and camping accessible to backpackers.
It’s an Outdoors Paradise. Would you be shocked to hear that’s all in Foresthill?
The “sleepiness” of Foresthill and its location – 17 miles from Interstate 80 outside Auburn – tend to keep it a hidden secret from nearby locals and most visitors in the Sierra Foothills area.
Foresthill’s Robber’s Roost restaurant has already been discovered by many – General Manager Tim Pratt says about 70% of the reservation book carries 916 area codes – and if Pratt has his way, people will also discover the scenic and recreational value of the Foresthill Divide.
“You get off the freeway and you escape easily from the city life,” Pratt said. An avid fisherman and river rafter, Pratt enjoys all the seasonal recreation that Foresthill has to offer. He says that not only is the fishing fabulous, he rarely encounters another fisherman when he’s out.
“The great fishing happens because it’s protected by the vastness and steepness of the mountains,” Pratt said.
The four local reservoirs – Big, French Meadows, Oxbow, and Sugar Pine – all offer a multitude of recreation, with complete maps and other information available at the Foresthill Ranger Station. For example, at just the Sugar Pine Reservoir alone, the following is listed:
• Sugar Pine Recreation Complex – Two group campgrounds, two family campgrounds, boat ramp, hiking trails, picnic area, swimming beach, trailer dump station. The facilities have been designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
• Forbes Creek Group Campground – Two 50-person group sites, campfire circle, piped water, vault toilets, central parking for recreational vehicles.
• Giant Gap Campground – Thirty campsites, piped water, vault toilets, fire rings.
• Shirttail Creek Campground – Thirty campsites (double and triple sites available), piped water, vault toilets, fire rings.
• Manzanita Picnic Area – Day use only. Twenty three picnic sites, piped water, vault toilets, one mile paved trail along reservoir shore, swimming beach.
At the Foresthill Ranger Station, there is detailed information and maps available on 14 hiking trails in the area. They range from easy to difficult and from under a mile to more than seven miles one way. Many ar e also available for horseback riding and mountain biking with the maps clearly indicating mixed use when permitted.
Foresthill is also home to Lake Clementine, a beautiful 3.5-mile long lake at the North Fork of the American River. It offers all types of boating with launch ramp; camping is also available.
Winter sports are also abundant in Foresthill, which is at 3,000 feet in town and 5,000 feet where the Foresthill Divide Road is closed for the winter. That spot is known as the China Wall. It’s the perfect place to take an off-road vehicle, go snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The area has parking for cars and RVs, vault toilets and trailhead access.
For more information on Foresthill’s recreation, contact the Foresthill Divide Chamber of Commerce at (530) 367-2474; contact the Foresthill Ranger Station at (530) 367-2224.
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