California is lucky to have a plethora of free (or low cost) regional parks, along with state and national parks, within a short driving distance of basically anywhere you can live in the state. In the week between Christmas and New Years my family and I decided to take advantage of visiting a free park in Auburn, just north of Sacramento, called Hidden Falls Regional Park. I had never been previously but my family had and they were excited to check out the new trails that were finished being added a few years ago.
I have been to a lot of different parks in California and am generally impressed with how nicely they are set up and how clear the information is and Hidden Falls was no exception. On their site and at the park there is the trail map to download or pick up and the trails are all clearly marked as you walk along. They also allow dogs on leash which is always a plus so we were able to bring out Beagle along for the hike as well.
The park has a variety of trails to choose from for those looking for a lower impact nature walk or a bit of a more robust hike. We decided upon a 8 1/2 – ish mile loop by following the South Legacy Trail until it connected to the Creekside Trail (which has some vertical incline FYI!) and connected back to the North Legacy Trail at the falls look out points. There are two separate platforms to look at the different falls in the area that are both super nice and reasonably easy to access. The actual Hidden Falls viewing platform is in a perfect place to set up your tripod and camera for some nice shots if you are a photographer as it is at a nice level with the falls and is very sturdy.
Overall I was quite happy with our hike. As the trails themselves were well taken care of and pretty low impact it allowed us to walk longer and see more of the park. Going after a rainstorm was especially great for watching the falls!