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Weimar Institute Trails

Click to view detailed version
Click to view detailed version.

What is the Weimar Institute?

The Weimar Institute, also known as the Weimar Center of Health & Education, originally opened in 1919 as a small tuberculosis sanitarium. Government officials formed a consortium of six central California counties in 1917 and chose Weimar, California, as one of five ideal locations in the United States for recovery from the respiratory disease. Located at 2,200’ elevation in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the sanatorium grew to a large hospital supported by 15 counties.

The institution changed in 1957 to the Weimar Chest Center, treating other pulmonary diseases. In 1960 it was renamed Weimar Medical Center. The facility became a general community hospital in 1966, but closed in 1972 due to financial cuts by the state and counties. The property changed hands several times, and in 1975 the institution became Hope Village, a temporary relocation center for Vietnamese refugees.

In May of 1977, a group of Seventh-day Adventists purchased the 457 acres and began its development into the health and Christian education facility that exists today.

About one third of the total acreage is used as a campus, including administrative buildings and housing. The remaining two thirds is a wonderful nature preserve that is threaded by numerous well-maintained trails. The Institute graciously allows public access to its trails for use by hikers and equestrians.


Extensive network of trails through oak/pine/manzanita forested areas with seasonal and year-round creeks and some natural meadows. Some trails have "tunnels" through old manzanita groves. Bring your camera.


Open all year during daylight hours. Use is restricted to walkers and equestrians. No bikes or motorized vehicles. To avoid causing erosion, steep sections of these trails should not be used during the rainy season (usually mid-November thru mid-April.)


Trails generally range from easy to moderate, with well-conditioned surfaces and very few rocks. Signage is very good.

Map Notes:

Refer to the detailed map version linked above for information about alternative access points into the Institute's network from the surrounding neighborhoods.


Cougar habitatThese trails traverse Cougar Habitat. Cougar sightings are rare, but use good sense: Do not walk or ride these trails alone. Keep small children and pets close at hand.

Poison Oak grows along some of these trails and hangs out into the trail in places.

Drinking Water must be carried with you. Creek and river water are not safe for human consumption, no matter how clean it looks. Drink it only in an emergency and consult a doctor afterwards.

Directions to the Weimar Institute main entrance:

  • From I-80, take the West Paoli Lane exit and proceed to the frontage road on the west side of the freeway.
  • Go right onto West Paoli Lane heading north, and look for the paved parking areas on your right. The main entrance to the campus is on the left.
  • No registration is required. Regardless of whether you are hiking or leading a horse, enter via the main gate and cross the campus along the southerly side road to reach the trail network.

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 Coordinator.