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Hidden Falls Regional Park to expand

Placer County Supervisor column
By: Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt
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I have some exciting news to share with you about one of my favorite places, Hidden Falls Regional Park.  

For those unfamiliar, the 1,200-acre Hidden Falls Park located between the communities of Auburn and Lincoln offers approximately 30 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, running, biking and equestrian riding, impressive waterfalls, creeks, picnic areas, swimming areas and fishing access.
In August, I and my fellow Placer County Board of Supervisors members unanimously approved directing our county staff to explore the options for expanding Hidden Falls Park trail system by an additional 30 miles and increasing parking to accommodate increasing visitation.
The prospect of expansion has been made possible thanks to a partnership with the Placer Land Trust and 2,500 acres of open space near Hidden Falls Park that has been preserved and can accommodate a potential extension of the trail system from Hidden Falls to the Bear River.
The proposed expansion would require two new bridges over Coon Creek and additional parking and staging areas.
There’s still a lot of work to do, though, before we can make any changes. County staff is currently working with an environmental consulting firm to analyze existing use patterns and current parking situation. These evaluations will result in long-term management strategies that improve the current user experience and define future opportunities.
The success of the potential Hidden Falls Park expansion depends largely on your participation. Any changes would undergo a thorough public review and comment process.
Since its opening, Hidden Falls Park has become a major attraction, drawing in people from all over the region.
Unfortunately, its popularity has also had its drawbacks. During peak times of the year, the park’s parking lot often fills to capacity, leaving park rangers to turn would-be-visitors away.

I am happy to report that county staff is hard at work developing smart solutions to help minimize parking impacts, traffic and headaches.
A Hidden Falls Park Twitter account was recently established to provide parking updates and other important notices such as trail closures due to weather.
Other efforts include an update to the online reservation system that would allow visitors to reserve a spot in advance. We’re also looking at installing a webcam in the parking lot, offering a live feed of the current parking situation to help visitors make a decision before they go.
Hidden Falls Park is a special place to me. Not only is it a place for visitors to explore and immerse themselves in Placer County’s unique natural environment but it is also a conservation area that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

We remain committed to making it accessible to as many people as we can and I very much look forward to sharing new opportunities to do so with you soon.

Robert Weygandt is the Placer County supervisor for District 2, which covers Lincoln, Sheridan, and the western portions of Rocklin and Roseville. To contact Weygandt, call (530) 889-4010 or email bweygand@placer.ca.gov.