Robie Point Fire Break trail is great for families
This is the fourth in a series exploring local hiking trails.
By Don Chaddock
About a quarter-mile down Highway 49 from Lincoln Way is one of the most family friendly trails in the American River Canyon.
The best thing I like about this trail is the ease of access. I don’t have to drive all the way down to the bottom of the canyon. It’s an extremely short drive and there currently is no day-use or parking fee. On the right, you’ll see a green gate. It should be the first green gate you’ll see on Highway 49 along with a small parking area.
The trail is wide, well-graded and shaded through some sections. It’s a three-mile walk from the gate to Overlook Park. The last stretch is mostly uphill and narrow, so certainly not stroller friendly.
There is a picnic table about a third of the way down the main trail.
There are also some spectacular views of the canyon, river and mountains along your walk. I advise hiking this trail before noon during the summer or it can be quite hot.
You’ll see trees ranging from oaks to pines and manzanita brush. My 4-year-old daughter chased butterflies. Occasionally a deer will bolt off from the trail.
Be careful of poison oak. Don’t venture off the trail or touch those shiny three-leafed plants along the edges.
For the more adventurous, you can hike down to No Hands Bridge, but I don’t recommend it if you have young children with you.
Pack water bottles and wear sun screen.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Drive down into the canyon on Highway 49 from Lincoln Way. It is the first parking area with a green gate on the right hand side. It is the Robie Point Fire Break trail. To start at the other end, go to Overlook Park, walk past the staging area, and follow the trail.