MVTA requests you follow these guidelines when using any
of the trails listed on this website.
- BEFORE YOU GO: Let someone know where you
are going and when to expect you back. Buddy up when using trails that traverse
cougar habitat. If unfamiliar with the trail, have someone who knows the trail
guide you. You can also discuss your planned route with an experienced MVTA
member. Contact our Trails
Coordinator -- She/he can provide more detailed information or refer
you to someone more familiar with the trail you want to use.
- Observe posted parking restrictions, if any,
at the trailhead. Leave room for others to park. Take
precautions to discourage theft from your vehicle.
- Be aware of common hazards. If you are new
to the area, take a few moments to read about hazardous
plants and animals you may encounter.
- Take plenty of water. Don't
drink water from creeks unless you have no other choice in an
- Stay on the trail. Don't cut corners on
switchbacks. Shortcut paths will erode in wet weather, causing serious
- Respect all posted trail restrictions. Not
all trails are multi-use or dedicated for public use. Not all existing trails
in the area covered by an MVTA map are necessarily shown. If you "go exploring"
onto a side trail, you may end up on private property or have difficulty
finding your way back.
- If you're using your mountain bike on
multi-use trails, expect to encounter hikers and equestrians. When approaching
a horseback rider from either direction, slow to a stop and speak out to the
rider. Otherwise, the horse may "spook" and injure you and/or the rider.
- When using the trail with your dog, remember
the County does have a leash law. Should you meet other people, horses, or
animals on the trail, you must be able to control your pet.
- Don't Litter. Carry out what you carry in.
Take the extra step and remove litter you find along the route. Avoid leaving
animal droppings on the trail.
- When Nature calls: If you find you must
relieve yourself, please find a spot several yards off trail and at least 100
ft. from any creek or drainage bottom. Cover up after yourself with dirt or
- Leave all gates as you found them. Never
leave a stock gate open expecting to "come right back."
- Trail maintenance, including brush cutting
and earthwork, needs to be coordinated through the appropriate agency or
private owner. MVTA can determine who has jurisdiction and help you complete
required paperwork, if needed.
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Trailhead Security Suggestions
- Remove personal items from your vehicle!!!
This is by far the greatest problem and is the number one reason an area
becomes a "hot spot" for theft -- especially with female trail users who tend
to leave purses in their vehicles.
- Be aware of your surroundings; make note of
suspicious vehicles or persons. Providing the sheriff with a general
description of a vehicle or occupants is excellent; a license plate number is
- Do not leave a garage door opener in your
vehicle. Often burglars will take only your garage door opener after
finding out where you live (making note of your vehicle registration or other
personal items.) The burglars know you'll be on the trail for several hours and
will pay a visit to your home while you are out.
- Leave your checkbook and credit cards at
home. Locking your Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance in the glove
box is Ok, but taking them with you is better. Identity theft is a primary
objective of thieves, more so than the $10 you may have in your wallet or
purse. A thief need only take a photo of one of your checks in order to make
counterfeit copies. With the advent of camera phones, stealing information is
now much easier.
- Upon discovery of a possible theft, take action
at once to protect your finances by notifying your bank and card companies
-- even if you think nothing was taken. You can place a 90 day theft alert on
your accounts. Identity theft can happen quickly and cross literally hundreds
of jurisdictions with the push of a computer button. Law enforcement is
attempting to keep up with the technology that thieves are using, but nothing
is better than your prompt report.
provided by Placer County Sheriff's Department.
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Common Trail Hazards to Avoid
Creek water, no matter how clean it may appear, is
often contaminated by human or animal fecal matter washed down from
surrounding hillsides. The most common danger is an intestinal disease called
Giardia. Associated symptoms include chronic diarrhea, abdominal cramps,
bloating, fatigue and loss of weight. Treatment by a physician is necessary to
rid yourself of the infection.
Always bring along sufficient
drinking water for the trail. If you run out, surface water or melted snow
can be made safe by boiling for at least three minutes, using an iodine-based
purifier or a Giardia-rated water filter.
Keep in mind, however, it is better
to drink the creekwater than to risk the effects of severe thirst:
Dehydration can seriously interfere with your ability to make rational
decisions on the trail. Don't turn an unfortunate situation into one that can
threaten your survival.
The shiny leaves of this shrub
grow in groups of three on smooth stems. Usually found growing as a bush, 3 to
4ft high, it sometimes will grow as a vine in trees. Leaves are green until
Autumn, when they turn various shades of red and orange before falling.
Do not touch the stems or leaves,
as the oil of this plant is toxic to humans and may cause a severe rash or
blisters. Symptoms may not appear until several hours after contact.
Wash with an anti-poison oak
remedy, such as "Tecnu," or with rubbing alcohol immediately after
returning home. If you get poison oak in your eyes or develop severe blisters,
see a physician at once.
Rattlesnakes are sometimes
encountered on our trails, especially in summer. A rattlesnake will not
strike at you unless it is disturbed or cornered, in which case, it will defend
itself. Give them distance and respect. Don't try to get close for a photo.
DO NOT kill or harm any
rattlesnakes. They are valuable members of our ecosystem; they have a right
to be here, too.
If you are bitten by a rattler,
call the California Poison Control
System hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Ticks are prevalent in the
foothills, especially in mild, wet weather, crawling onto you as you brush
past foliage on the trail. Tick bites can be painful and also carry the risk of
Lyme disease is an illness
transmitted by deer ticks, the smaller of two commonly found species. Symptoms
in advanced cases are severe, including arthritis, meningitis, neurological
problems, and/or cardiac symptoms. These symptoms can occur from within a few
weeks to over a year after the tick bite. Early signs can include a circular
rash around the site of the tick bite and flu-like symptoms. Timely treatment
of Lyme Disease can cure or lessen the severity of the disease. If you
experience these symptoms, be certain to tell your doctor you were bitten by a
If you find an attached tick,
immediately remove it: Grasp the tick by its body and pull slowly but firmly
until it releases its grip. Do not attempt to get it to "back out on its own"
by using a hot match head, kerosene or any other such folk remedy.
To avoid ticks, here are a few
- Wear light colored clothing -- ticks are
attracted to darker colors.
- Apply insect repellent to clothing and exposed
parts of the body.
- Stay on wider trails; avoid tall grass and
- Keep pets on a leash, out of contact with tall
grass and brush.
- Check clothing, hair and exposed skin frequently
- Brush off clothing after leaving the trail.
Change clothing completely when you get home and brush out your hair
lions -- also known as cougars, panthers, or pumas -- are normally very
elusive but have been known to attack people hiking or running alone.
They are solitary creatures except during mating, each maintaining a territory
of up to five square miles. Humans rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a
mountain lion in the wild.
To reduce the chances of an unwanted
- Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and
dawn when lions normally hunt.
- Always keep children and pets close at hand.
In the event of an encounter:
- Do not approach a lion, especially if it is
feeding or is with its young.
- If you see a lion, stay calm and face the lion.
Do not run, because this may trigger the lions instinct to attack.
- If the lion approaches or acts aggressive, make
noise and throw rocks, branches or any other item at hand, without turning your
back or bending over.
- If attacked, fight back. Try to remain standing
and face the attacking animal. Fight back with rocks, sticks, or even your bare
The American Black Bear is
common to North America. Sightings in our region -- usually in the river
canyons -- are infrequent, but veteran trail users often recognize fresh scat,
a sure sign that bears are active in the area.
Adult Black Bears actually range in
color from black to light brown and can weigh from about 90 to 600 pounds.
They feed mainly on roots, fruits, nuts and berries; also on worms, grubs, fish
and small animals.
Bears do not prey on humans, but
an encounter with one can turn deadly if they are cornered or are feeding or
have cubs nearby.
In the event of an unwanted
- Do not approach the bear, especially if it is
feeding or is with its young. Absolutely do not approach a cub. The mother may
be out of sight, but is definitely nearby.
- Stay calm; do not turn and run. If you have a dog
with you, keep it on leash and under control to avoid provocation.
- If the bear approaches or acts aggressively, make
noise and throw rocks, branches or any other item at hand to distract it. Make
sure you leave it a clear way to retreat. (Note that bears will stand on their
hind feet to aid their vision or sense of smell. This behavior is not
Other animals you might encounter are
generally not dangerous, with some exceptions...
- Deer are plentiful everywhere this region.
Do not approach a deer, especially if it is with its young. Deer have very
sharp hooves that can inflict a life-threatening wound in an instant.
- Skunks, foxes, coyotes, opossums and squirrels
are also common. Avoid contact with these smaller creatures. If one seems
unafraid, or even "friendly," you should not assume that it is "tame." More
likely, it has rabies. Do not let it touch you. If you are scratched or
bitten, seek immediate medical attention.
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MVTA tries to assure the accuracy
of the trails information presented,
but can make no claims to such.
Please let us know if any entries are incorrect.
Email your comments or questions
to our Trails