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Foresthill Divide - November 21, 2009

Distance: 21.83 miles Ascent: 2847 feet Moving time: 2:25 hours

Thomas invited us to do a ride on the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail in the Auburn State Recreation Area. While Ken couldn't make it, Don, Anna and I went. We discussed the idea of joining a FATRAC group ride, but we decided that we would have to get up too early to make it. We agreed that doing our own ride only roughly the same course with a later start time would be worthwhile.

It had rained a bit the day before, so all of the trails were in great condition. There were very few puddles on the Foresthill Divide Loop and the dirt was in great shape. Thomas led the ride since he had been there before. Essentially the entire ride was singletrack We started with a nice ride through the oaks to the far end of the main loop, keeping a good pace. We got to a junction and decided to turn left and went across the highway and climbed up to the high point of the ride and took a break. Thomas thought we had missed a turn, so we headed back to the junction at the far end of the loop and turned the other way.

This turned out to be the Connector Trail. The first part of this trail is excellent! This singletrack through the forest features rolling terrain and sweeping turns. It turns out to be descending, but the rapid ups and downs tend to obscure the decrease in elevation. Thomas described it as being like a water slide. The descent then becomes more obvious as the undulating trail flattened out, descending to a small wooden bridge. This is followed by a short climb and a bit more riding out to Lake Clementine Road. We turned around at this point, but we could have continued to descend the Clementine Trail down to the river under the Foresthill Bridge.

After turning around, we climbed back up the Connector Trail and retraced our steps across the highway and back up to the high point. After a short break, we finished off the ride with some nice downhill singletrack followed by a final climb out and back to the car.

According to FATRAC, the basic ride we did (without the first trip to the high point) is referred to as the Lollipop Loop.

We changed and packed up and headed down to Auburn for dinner. We went to the Auburn Ale House in the old downtown area. We were very hungry and the food and beer really hit the spot. I think all of us could recommend this as a good way to end a Foresthill Divide ride.

We all agreed that this was a great ride. The trails were beautiful and in great condition. The air was cool but not cold, making it easier to hold a good pace. We all enjoyed riding on new trails. It was a lot of driving to get there and back for this ride, so we may look at doubling this ride up with another local ride and staying overnight at some point in the future.

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