Appendices

Field Trip Sites

CALAVERAS/AMADOR COUNTIES

Arnold Wastewater Treatment Plant
Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant, Amador Water Agency
Camanche South Shore Recreation Area
Chaw Se Indian Grinding Rocks State Park
Coast to Crest Trail—EBMUD (Camanche/Pardee Areas)
Copper Cove Water Treatment Plant
Douglas Flat/Vallecito Wastewater Treatment Plant
Howard Park
Hunters Water Treatment Plant
Jackson Creek at Detert Park
Jeff-Davis Dam and Reservoir
Jeff-Davis Treatment Plant
Jenny Lind Water Treatment Plant
La Contenta Wastewater Treatment Plant
Mokelumne Hill Storage Tank
Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery (DFG and EBMUD)
Pardee Dam (EBMUD)
Ponderosa PRV
Rail Road Flat Tank
Salt Gulch Springs
South Fork Mokelumne Pump Station
Sutter Creek in Ione
Sutter Creek at the Lions Park
Sutter Creek At Minnie Provis Park
West Point Water Treatment Plant
West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant
Wildermuth House Site—Pardee Dam Area

TUOLUMNE COUNTY

Columbia Airport Nature Trail
Crabtree Nordic Trailhead
Dragoon Gulch Trail
Jamestown Gold Panning in Woods Creek
Karen Bakerville Smith Memorial Trail
Knights Ferry (US Army Corps of Engineers)
Lyons Reservoir
Moccasin Creek Fish Hatchery (U.S. Department of Fish and Game)
New Melones Visitor Center
Pinecrest Lake
Red Hills (Bureau of Land Management)
Riverside Day Use Area
Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Tuolumne Utilities District)
Trail of the Survivors
Westside Railroad Grade Trail

Arnold Wastewater Treatment Plant

Address: 3294 Highway 4, Arnold, CA 95223
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846 ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Limited parking for cars, vans and one bus
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: The plant is located on Highway 4 just west of Arnold. Cross street is Rancho Paradiso. There is a sign at the entrance.
Background Site Information: The Arnold Wastewater Treatment Plant was started in 1986 and treats sewage from White Pines to Avery. The capacity of the plant is rated at 170,000 gpd average dry weather flow. The extended aeration plant has an oxidation ditch that helps treat the residential and some light commercial waste from Arnold restaurants. One clarifier sends the disinfected effluent to tertiary filters. The return activated sludge is pumped back to the oxidation ditch. The waste activated sludge is sent to one of two aerobic digesters for final treatment. The disposal of the effluent is sent to leach fields on site in the winter months and sprayfields in the spring, summer and fall. A Rodiger belt press processes the final sludge.

Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant, Amador Water Agency

Address: Pioneer Creek Road, Pioneer, CA
Contact Person: Kim Toma, Executive Secretary
Contact Telephone: 209.223.3018
Time of Year: All year
Costs: None
Facilities Available: One bathroom, water, large parking lot for learning activities, gathering
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator required
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Directions to Site: The treatment plant is just off Highway 88 in Buckhorn. Turn north on Pioneer Creek Road, just east of the market. There are two Pioneer Creek Roads, make sure to take the easternmost road. The green storage tanks on the left side of the road at the treatment plant entrance.
Background Site Information: The Amador Water Agency (AWA) was formed for the purpose of providing water and wastewater services to the residents of Amador County. The primary source of drinking water is the North Fork of the Mokelumne River. Water is pumped from the river at the Tiger Creek Afterbay, south of Buckhorn. It is then treated at the Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant, and piped to homes and businesses in Pioneer and Pine Grove. The Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant treats water through membrane filtration and chlorination. Computers check all aspects of treatment and plant operation. Water quality is checked at the in-house laboratory.

Camanche South Shore Recreation Area

Address: 11700 Wade Lane, Burson, CA 95226
Contact Person: Steve Diers, Ranger/Naturalist II
Contact Telephone: 209.772.8260
Time of Year: January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: At the Amphitheater Meeting Location: bathrooms w/flush toilets, water, picnic tables; store and telephone nearby
Parking: Cars, vans, buses can be parked between Amphitheater and boat launch ramp.
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 60 students
Directions to Site: From Highway 12 in Burson:

  • Go south on Burson road about 1.5 miles.
  • Follow Pattison Road for approximately 1 mile.
  • Pattison makes a hard left turn into Camanche South Shore Recreation Area.

Background Site Information:
www.ebmud.com/recreation/camanche-reservoir
www.camancherecreation.com/
Camanche Camp:

  • Located on Camanche Creek just south of the Mokelumne River (in the cove near the store)
  • Originally named Limerick Camp it was changed to Camanche Camp or Camanche Diggings around 1856-7. Named for a town in Iowa that was spelled the same way.
  • In 1858 “…The camp boasts of 4 grocery stores, 2 clothing shops, 2 hotels, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 meat market, 2 drug stores, and billiard rooms and whisky mills in abundance…”
  • The town continued to prosper through the 1860’s and like most gold rush towns with a large Chinese populations, Camanche was the site of a “tong war” in 1865. A tong is a clan.
  • From the late 1870’s the towns population became increasingly Italian with many supplying fresh produce to the surrounding communities from their truck gardens.
  • The construction of Camanche Reservoir, which built for flood control was completed in 1964
  • Reservoir was opened for recreational purposes.
  • Reservoir area: 12 square miles, 7,700 acres
  • Reservoir capacity: 140 billion gallons, 431,500 acre feet

Chaw Se Indian Grinding Rocks State Park

Address: 14881 Pine Grove Volcano Road, Pine Grove CA 95665
Contact Person: Chaw Se Museum, Docent
Contact Telephone: 209.296.7488
Time of Year: Year Round
Costs: No fee for schools; reservations 2 weeks–6 months.
Facilities Available: Bathrooms, water, picnic tables, museum, visitor center
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: Yes—ask for “Echoes of the Past” Teacher’s Guide
RSVP: Necessary
Directions to Site: The park is located on Pine Grove Volcano Road (off Highway 88), out of Pine Grove, midway between Pine Grove and Volcano.
Background Site Information: Teachers: be sure to ask for “Echoes of the Past, The Park, The Place, The People.” This will provide all necessary information and answer all questions, etc. A brochure is available from the site.

Coast to Crest Trail-EBMUD (Camanche/Pardee Areas)

Address: Throughout the Camanche/Pardee areas
Contact Person: Steve Diers, Ranger/Naturalist II
Contact Telephone: 209.772.8260
Contact E-mail: sdiers@ebmud.com
Time of Year: Year round
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms, water, picnic tables, museum, visitor center: depends on area
Parking: Cars, vans, buses—depends on area
Docents Available for Field Trip: Check with Steve Diers for the availability of rangers/naturalists as certain areas are only accessible with EBMUD personnel. Please note: it is also important to contact Steve for ANY use as EMBUD requires permits for Coast to Crest Trail usage.
Self-Guided: Depends on area
Adult/Student Ratio: Dependent upon area and activity
RSVP: Any use of EBMUD facilities needs to channel through Steve Diers
Directions to Site: Please see Coast to Crest Trail maps in the EBMUD materials as there are many opportunities and activities available to all ages and group sizes and interests. There are historical areas, “riparian” areas, mining areas, native American cave art/holy areas, hiking, wildlife, etc., available all along the Coast to Crest Trail areas located along Camanche and Pardee Lakes. It is highly recommended you contact Steve Diers for questions and information regarding use and facilities available to school groups and whether or not rangers would be available.
Background Site Information: History info, current info, facts, etc., or a brochure from the site

Copper Cove Water Treatment Plant

Address: 5130 Kiva Place, Copperopolis, CA 95228
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: Highway 4 to Little John Road, stay on Little John for approximately 6 miles turn right onto Kiva Place then right turn into the plant.
Background Site Information:
Lake Tulloch Reservoir is the water source. The plant is a 4 MGD surface water treatment plant that was constructed in 1997. Treatment consists of ozonation, coagulation, filtration, disinfection and corrosion control. The plant is fully control automated with computer interface and alarming. The system feeds drinking water to the Copperoplis community. The Wastewater Treatment Plant is a .2 MGD pond system with wastewater disposal on site.

Douglas Flat/Vallecito Wastewater Treatment Plant

Address: 134 Holiday Mine Road, Douglas Flat, CA
Contact Person:
Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Limited parking for cars, vans and one bus
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: The plant is located off Highway 4, just west of Murphys. Holiday Mine Road is a dirt road just past Chatom Winery.
Background Site Information: The Douglas Flat/Vallecito Wastewater Treatment Plant treats a combined residential flow from Douglas Flat and Vallecito areas. They are extended aeration activated sludge plants. The waste activated sludge is sent to one aerobic digester for final treatment. A sand dry bed processes the final sludge. The disposal for the effluent is sent to an on-site holding pond in the winter months and is sprayed on five on-site sprayfields the remainder of the year.

Howard Park

Address: Highway 124, just south of downtown Ione
Contact Person: City of Ione
Contact Telephone: 209.274.2412
Time of Year: All year
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms
Parking: Cars, vans
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommend small groups
RSVP: Not necessary
Site Capacity: Open
Directions to Site: Howard Park is on Hwy 124 just south of downtown Ione. There is also a trail from the corner of Ione Elementary School that leads to Howard Park. The trail goes through riparian habitat, gray pines, and oaks.
Background Site Information: Howard Park is a large park with soccer fields, equestrian facilities. There are also nature trails through gray pines and oaks.

Hunters Water Treatment Plant

Address: 335 Hunters Dam Rd., Avery, CA 95223
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846 ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: Highway 4 East pass Hathaway Pines, 1 mile Hunters Dam Rd.
Background Site Information: The Hunters Water Treatment Plant’s primary source of water is the McKay’s Dam, fed by the Stanislaus River. The water flows by gravity through the treatment plant. The treatment process can process four million gallons per day and consists of; coagulation, upflow clarification, gravity filtration, post chlorination and corrosion control. The treated water is stored in a one million gallon tank to be pumped up through the distribution system. The plant and distribution system are monitored 24/7 with a SCADA system. The system serves all of Ebbetts Pass from the top of Utica Grade up to Big Trees Village.

Jackson Creek at Detert Park

Address: Detert Park at Highway 49, Jackson CA
Contact Person: City of Jackson
Contact Telephone: 209.223.1646
Time of Year: Creek flow is seasonal and will dry up in late spring, early summer.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms, water, picnic tables, public library, public park with play equipment
Parking: Cars, vans
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommend small groups
RSVP: Not necessary
Directions to Site: Detert Park is next to the public library and swimming pool on Highway 49 in Jackson.
Background Site Information: Jackson Creek runs through the city of Jackson. The creek flows under a foot bridge at the north end of Detert Park. The creek flows under the public library, emerging in front of the library and then is piped under the parking lot. It surfaces near the Post Office. Tall weeds are present at the creek’s edge, so ticks could be a problem. You may want only adults to collect aquatic life and bring up to children in the park. Some native oaks grow along the creek’s edge. A large grassy area is perfect for outdoor learning activities.

Jeff-Davis Dam and Reservoir

Address: 550 Ridge Rd., Glencoe, CA
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754-9442
Time of Year: All year, gravel road off of Ridge Road to the dam, locked gates
Costs: None
Facilities Available: At the treatment plant: one bathroom, water, telephone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40; Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: East on Highway 26 to right turn on Ridge Road. Go about 2½ miles to left turn into gravel West Forty Road (about 1550 Ridge Road). Go through locked gates to the main dam.
Background Site Information: The main dam was built in 1972 using material from what is now the reservoir. The dam is about 100 feet high and it forms the 2000 acre foot reservoir. Across from the main dam is another dam called a saddle dam. Also visible is the outlet tower. This houses the valves that let water from the reservoir into the treatment plant. The reservoir covers about 55 acres and it is 55 feet deep. Note the ditch that surrounds the reservoir to keep runoff water from entering the future drinking water.

Jeff-Davis Treatment Plant

Address: 1550 Ridge Rd., Glencoe
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754.9442
Time of Year: All year, gravel road off of Ridge Road.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: At the treatment plant: one bathroom, water, telephone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40; Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: East on Highway 26 to right turn on Ridge Road. Go about 2½ miles to left turn into gravel West Forty Road (about 1550 Ridge Road). Go through locked gates to the main dam, then follow the access road down the hill to the treatment plant.
Background Site Information: The treatment plant was built in 1972 at the toe of the reservoir. The six large containers are filters designed to process a total of four million gallons of water per day. Inside the building are the various controls and charts used to monitor filtration, disinfection and other water treatment. Outside is a one-half million gallon storage tank, a pump house and two ponds that contain water used in the filter cleaning process.

Jenny Lind Water Treatment Plant

Address: 3516 Silver Rapids, Valley Springs, CA 95252
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Limited parking for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Background Site Information: The primary source of drinking water is the Calaveras River below New Hogan Lake. Water is pumped from the river below the lake and is treated at the Jenny Lind Water Treatment Plant. The treated water is distributed to homes and businesses in Jenny Lind, LaContenta and Rancho Calaveras. The Jenny Lind Water Treatment Plant treats water through ozonation, coagulation, filtration, disinfection and corrosion control. Computers provide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) that controls and checks the aspects of treatment and plant operation. Water quality is analyzed at two outside labs.

La Contenta Wastewater Treatment Plant

Address: 1525 Campbell Ct., Valley Springs, CA
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Limited parking for cars, vans and one bus
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Background Site Information: The La Contenta Wastewater Treatment Plant provides wastewater services to the La Contenta subdivision, the golf course and the surrounding area contained within CCWD (AD 604). The La Contenta plant is an activated sludge plant that is designed to treat up to 400,000 gpd. The raw sewage comes into the aeration tank which has dissolved oxygen to keep the bugs alive. It then filters upward through a sludge blanket that is in the clarifier, which is then gravity fed into sand filters, which flows over the weirs into the chlorine contact tank that disinfects the water. It is then discharged to the lower pond which the La Contenta Golf Course uses in the spring and summer months for irrigation.

Mokelumne Hill Storage Tank

Address: Off Highway 26 on Sport Hill Road, Mokelumne Hill
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754.9442
Time of Year: All year, gravel road off of Highway 26
Costs: None
Facilities Available: None
Parking: cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40; Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: Highway 26 East to Sport Hill Road, drive to the top of the hill, follow the dirt road to the tank. Do not disturb the residents in the houses. Go slow to keep down the dust.
Background Site Information: A steel, welded storage tank forty feet high that holds 1.5 million gallons of water. The water is provided for Mokelumne Hill and Paloma. The water elevations in the tank are transmitted to the treatment plant to tell it when to process more water to fill the system.

Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery (DFG and EBMUD)

Address: The “end” of McIntire Rd, at the base of the Camanche Dam
Contact Person: Bob Anderson, DFG Hatchery Assistant Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.759.3383
Contact E-mail: banderson@dfg.ca.gov
Time of Year: Year round, the prime is late October–early December, when the salmon are “coming home”
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Restrooms available with water at the Hatchery, back down the road at the “Mokelumne River Day Use Area,” park area is available with picnic facilities, restrooms, and the Mokelumne River flowing through. A fantastic lunch, rest, play, or riparian habitat classroom area. No charge.
Parking: Cars, vans, buses; full parking facility at both the hatchery and the Park
Docents Available for Field Trip: Depends on amount of DFG personnel available; call Bob Anderson for details
Self-Guided: Fully self-guided with information panels. Note: when the salmon are “running,” be advised that personnel at the hatchery are gathering fertilized row from the salmon and as a result no fish “gets out alive.” It is hectic and intense and for some students, it may prove a bit traumatic.
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommended that small groups with adult supervision for questions and control, especially if visiting during the salmon run.
RSVP: Not necessary as everything can be self guided, however, Bob Anderson suggests calling him for the possibility of DFG personnel being available for assistance.
Site Capacity: Number of students: unlimited, with proper adult to student ratios; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: From Calaveras/Tuolumne areas take Highway 12 from San Andreas toward Stockton/Lodi. West of Burson and before the Highway 88 juncture, take McIntire Road north to its very end and then turn right and follow the road past the Park to the Hatchery. From the Jackson area, take Highway 88 toward Clements and at the Highway 12 juncture, turn east on 12 until you encounter McIntire Rd.

Pardee Dam (EBMUD)

Address: Pardee Dam Rd.
Contact Person: Bruce Stewart, Construction/Maintenance/Scheduler
Contact Telephone: 209.772.8205, Cell: 209. 601.4354
Contact E-mail: bstewart@ebmud.com
Time of Year: Year round, however, the water is “booming” in the spring
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms and water available at dam site, however it is recommended students be self-sufficient with food and drink and carry their own backpacks. No picnic facilities or visitor center.
Parking: Parking is off the Pardee Dam Rd. to the west of the dam in a gated area.
Docents Available for Field Trip: Tours, activities and “history” is lead by Bruce Stewart, who does an excellent job with students.
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: Anything larger than one class may have difficulty hearing when the generators are working. It is also recommended there be small groups under “parental” guidance as this is a working hydro-electric facility.
RSVP: Contact Bruce Stewart for reservations and information
Site Capacity: Recommended no more than one class
Directions to Site: From Mokelumne Hill/Valley Springs take the Paloma Road to Pardee Dam Road and follow across the dam. The “parking” area is to the west of the dam just to the north side. From Jackson area, take Stoney Creek Road to Pardee Dam Road and look for the gate/parking area to the west of the dam site on the north side.

Ponderosa PRV

Address: Highway 26 and Ponderosa Road
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754.9442
Time of Year: All year, gravel road off of Highway 26
Costs: None
Facilities Available: None
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40 (3 to five inside the building at one time); Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: Go East on Highway 26 to Ponderosa Road on the right side (just before Lower Dorray Road).
Background Site Information: The concrete block building houses pressure reducing valves, an electric generator and switchgear to monitor and send generated electricity to PG&E. The water that flows down from the treatment plant increases in pressure due to gravity as the elevation get lower (from 2800 feet at the Treatment Plant). The generators and pressure reducing valves lower the water pressure so the pipes don’t break.

Rail Road Flat Tank

Address: 1233 Ridge Road, Glencoe
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754.9442
Time of Year: All year; paved road off of Ridge Road to the tank; locked gates.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: None
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40; Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: East on Highway 26 to Ridge Road, go 2½ miles to 1233 Ridge Road on the right, unlock gate and go to the top of the hill.
Background Site Information: A one-half million gallon tank forty feet high that is filled by a pump from the Treatment Plant. The tank provides water under pressure for homes and fire hydrants along Ridge Road and into Rail Road Flat including the school.

Salt Gulch Springs

Address: Campo Seco Staging Area
Contact Person: Steve Diers, Ranger/Naturalist II
Contact Telephone: 209.772.8260
Time of Year: January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: At the Campo Seco Staging Area meeting location: outhouses, non-potable water, picnic tables, Wildermuth historic stone block house 0.6 mile hike from meeting location.
Parking: Cars, vans, buses at the Campo Seco Staging Area meeting location: all vehicles must display an EBMUD Special Event Pass which is issued by EBMUD staff the day of your class visit.
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes, but individuals using any hiking/equestrian trail on EBMUD property must have purchased and, have in their possession, a valid Trail Use Permit. A Trail Use Permit bearer (Permittee) may take additional responsibility for and accompany his/her immediate family and up to three (3) guests while on EBMUD trails. Permits available online at:
www.ebmud.com/recreation/trail-use-permits/
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 60 students
Directions to Site: From the highway 12 in Valley Springs:

  • At the four-way stop and go north 1 block.
  • Turn right on Daphne Street (Daphne Street becomes Paloma Road) and go 2.5 miles.
  • Turn left on Campo Seco Road and go 0.7 miles.
  • The Campo Seco Staging Area will be on the right.

Background Site Information: See Wildermuth Kit (by Pete Silva), STE Lending Library

  • www.ebmud.com/recreation/sierra-foothills-trails
  • www.mc2ct.org
  • www.ebmud.com/recreation/pardee-reservoir
  • The Campo Seco Staging Area is an access point for hikers and equestrians to the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail (MCCT) on EBMUD Pardee Watershed. MCCT is a proposed 300 mile trail across central California.
  • The Wildermuth House is an excellent example of the stonemasonry work of William A. Watt. The home was built for John H. Wildermuth in 1861. Hand-dressed sandstone blocks which were quarried from the hillside nearby were used in the construction. The Wildermuth House is situated near the old Campo Seco Road, which was heavily traveled between the mining centers of Campo Seco and Paloma, site of the famous Gwin Mine. During the hot, dry Mother Lode summers the house and surrounding garden carefully tended by Mrs. Wildermuth must have seemed like an oasis to weary travelers.
  • Construction on Pardee Reservoir was completed in 1929. It provides quality drinking water to millions of residents in the Bay Area. In 1958 it was opened for recreation. Area: 2257 acres; Capacity: 68.4 billion gallons…209,950 acre feet.

South Fork Mokelumne Pump Station

Address: Confluence of South Fork Mokelumne and Lickin Fork, Near Wilseyville
Contact Person: Gary Goffe, Manager
Contact Telephone: 209.754.9442
Time of Year: All year; gravel road off of Rail Road Flat Road; locked gates.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: None
Parking: Limited to three cars. No turnaround for buses. Buses can park nearby, then a quarter mile walk to pump station.
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio:
1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 40; Number of visits per year: 4
Directions to Site: Go through Rail Road Flat toward Wilseyville; pass over the South Fork Mokelumne River the just past the Lickin Fork bridge enter the access road on the left. Go slowly past the two homes, through the two gates proceed to the pump station and park. Do not go on the dam without supervision.
Background Site Information: The pump station is located at the confluence of the Lickin Fork and South Fork of the Mokelumne River. The two pumps are powered by 400 hp electric motors that take water from the river and pump it about two miles away to the Jeff-Davis Reservoir. The pumps must be very powerful to make the water go so far and to lift the water up over the mountain. If you look across the river you can see the path the pipeline takes over the mountain. The pipe is about 18" in diameter and it is visible inside the building. The pumps are called “vertical turbine” pumps and you can see how the pumps get their name by looking down through the grating inside the building.

Sutter Creek in Ione

Address: Downtown Ione behind City Hall at 1 E Main Street
Contact Person: City of Ione
Contact Telephone: 209.274.2412
Time of Year: Prior to visit, check water depth at site.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms, picnic tables, water, play equipment
Parking: Cars, vans
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommend small groups
RSVP: Not necessary
Site Capacity: Open
Directions to Site: There is a small park behind City Hall in Ione. Sutter Creek flows behind the park.
Background Site Information: Access to the creek is difficult at the park but it is a good gathering location and a spot to see riparian trees. Aquatic life collection could be done by adult access to the creek. For access by children, go to the “Dairy Hole” just upstream. Walk east on Main Street two blocks to N. Arroyo Seco Street. Walk to the end of the street where there is access to Sutter Creek.

Sutter Creek at The Lions Park

Address: Sutter Creek Volcano Road approximately 5 miles east of Sutter Creek CA
Contact Person: City of Sutter Creek
Contact Telephone: 209.267.5647
Time of Year: Prior to visit, check water depth at site.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Portable bathroom, picnic tables
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommend small groups
RSVP: Not necessary
Site Capacity: Open
Directions to Site: The Lions Park is 3 miles east of Highway 49 on Sutter Creek Volcano Road. If you are traveling north on Highway 49 turn right on Church Street in Sutter Creek. Follow Church Street, which turns into Sutter Creek Volcano Road out of town. Sutter Creek Volcano Road is narrow and windy. The Lions Park is on the right side of the road. Look for a gravel/dirt parking area where the creek opens up at a gravel bar.
Background Site Information: This site provides access to Sutter Creek at a natural location. School-age children can walk along the creek and discover aquatic life, signs of wildlife, and river rock. Picnic tables in the parking lot are a convenient spot to identify collected aquatic insects.

Sutter Creek at Minnie Provis Park

Address: Church St (this is the same street as Sutter Creek Volcano Road), Sutter Creek, CA
Contact Person: City of Sutter Creek
Contact Telephone: 209.267.5647
Time of Year: Creek flow is seasonal and may dry up or pool in dry years.
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Bathrooms, water, picnic tables, public park with play equipment, ball field
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: Recommend small groups
RSVP: Not necessary
Site Capacity: Open
Directions to Site: Minnie Provis Park is just east of Highway 49 on Church Street in downtown Sutter Creek. If you are traveling north on Highway 49 turn right on Church Street. Parking for the park is in front of the baseball field on your left.
Background Site Information: Sutter Creek runs through the city of Sutter Creek. Minnie Provis Park has easy access to Sutter Creek. Bedrock and gravel substrate make this spot a good site for collecting aquatic insects. However, it is not easy to walk for any distance along the creek.

West Point Water Treatment Plant

Address: 481 Smitty Lane, West Point, CA 95255
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: At West Point off of Highway 26, take Winton East. Turn right on Smitty Lane.
Background Site Information: The plant was built to provide the growing needs of West Point and surrounding areas. The plant is capable of producing 1.0 mgd where the water is treated and then gravity fed and pumped to the residents of West Point and Wilseyville. Water sources for the plant comes from Bear Creek or the Mokelumne River. Our main source is Bear Creek. When Bear Creek starts to dry up in the summer time, we then get the water from the Mokelumne River. The distribution system covers the West Point, Bummerville and Wilseyville areas.

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant

Address: 20 Sandy Gulch Rd, Wilseyville, CA 95257
Contact Person: Pam Rousey, Administrative Technician
Contact Telephone: 209.754.5846, ext. 23
Costs: N/A
Facilities Available: Bathroom, water, phone
Parking: Cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: No; Plant operator to give tour
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1 to 10
RSVP: Necessary
Site Capacity: 50–60 people
Directions to Site: On Highway 26 south of West Point, turn east onto Sandy Gulch Road.
Background Site Information: The plant was built to provide the growing needs of West Point and surrounding areas. The West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is part of a step system. Each home is provided with a septic tank and the wastewater is gravity fed or pumped to a lift station located on the edge of town. The wastewater is pumped to the treatment plant where a recirculating filter system treats the wastewater and is stored in two separate ponds and disposed of on-site.

Wildermuth House Site—Pardee Dam Area

Address: Campo Seco staging area of the Coast to Crest Trail located on Camp Seco Road off Paloma Road or Sandretto Road from the Jackson area.
Contact Person: Steve Diers, Ranger/Naturalist II
Contact Telephone: 209.772.8260
Contact E-mail: sdiers@ebmud.com
Time of Year: Anytime, Spring being ideal with the wildflowers
Costs: None
Facilities Available: Porta Potties at staging area and at the Wildermuth House site. All other “supplies” and accessories are “bring your own.” Please plan on large garbage bags for “clean up” which you need to carry out.
Parking: Campo Seco staging area has more than ample for all types of vehicles. Presently, EBMUD is studying feasibility of buses driving directly to the House site rather than offloading at the staging area and then a short hike to the House.
Docents Available for Field Trip: Call Steve Diers for availability of rangers
Self-Guided: Teacher prepared materials with EBMUD providing some special student activity days
Adult/Student Ratio: No ratios set, however, the more adults per class and the smaller the groups the more functional it becomes.
RSVP: Necessary/optional/not necessary. Contact Steve Diers regarding “reservations” and use.
Site Capacity: Number of Students: with small groups and multi-lesson sites in place, the number is unlimited; Number of visits per year: no limits
Directions to Site: From Mokelumne Hill/Valley Springs take Paloma Road to Campo Seco Road and follow to Coast to Crest Trailhead area. From Jackson take Stoney Creek Road to Pardee Dam Road to Sandretto Road to Campo Seco Road and follow to Coast to Crest Trailhead area.

Columbia Airport Nature Trail

Address: East of Columbia Elementary School on Parrots Ferry Road
Time of Year: year round
Costs: None
Facilities Available: None
Parking: Available at school on weekends or with permission from the Columbia Elementary
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes with STE
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site:

  • Highway 49 to Parrots Ferry Road
  • 1.5 miles to Columbia Elementary
  • Walk east from the school parking along Parrots Ferry Road 1/8th of a mile.

Background Information on Site: This nature trail connects the Columbia Airport and the gold rush town of Columbia.

Crabtree Nordic Trailhead

Address: Intersection of Doge Ridge Road and Crabtree connector road. Crabtree trailhead is located on forest road 4N35 (Dodge Ridge Road) near the Dodge Ridge Ski area.
Contact Person: Lori Klingberg
Title: Interpretive Specialist
Contact Telephone: 209-586-3234
Contact Person E-mail: lori.klingberg@sbcglobal.net
Time of Year: winter program
Cost: possible rental of snowshoes
Facilities Available: Vault toilet available.
Parking: for cars, vans, buses.
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1/5
RSVP: necessary only if using an interpretive specialist from the USFS and staff from STE.
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 30; Number of visits per year: unlimited during the winter
Directions to Site:

  • From Highway 108, turn right on Pinecrest Lake Road.
  • Turn right on Dodge Ridge Road.
  • Drive approximately six miles to Dodge Ridge sign.
  • Turn right at Crabtree Road.

Background Information on Site: The first mile of the Crabtree Nordic Trail is a road along a slope. The trail eventually leads to Burnt Bowl, a meadow. This is a great place for lunch and journaling.

Those participating are advised to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and wear warm, layered clothing, gloves, hats and snow boots. Bringing a lunch is a good idea.

Snowshoes are for rent at SNAC, Heidi’s at Cold Springs, and at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort.

Dragoon Gulch Trail

Contact Person: Rachelle Kellogg, City of Sonora, 94 N. Washington St., Sonora, CA 95370
Title: Grants/Redevelopment Program Manager
Contact Telephone: Phone: (209) 532-7725 | Fax: (209) 532-3511
Time of Year: Year Round
Costs: Facilities Available: bathrooms, water, picnic tables available at the trail head at Rotary Park, Sonora.
Parking: for cars, vans, buses behind the baseball field.
Docents Available for Field Trip: STE Staff
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site:

  • The main entrance to the Trail is located at Woods Creek Park. From the Bay Area and Central Valley take Highway 108 East to Highway 49 North into the City of Sonora. From Highway 49 turn left on Woods Creek Drive (across from the Mother Lode Fairgrounds) and follow the signs to the trail. If traveling south on Highway 49 into the City, stay on Highway 49 and turn right on Woods Creek Drive.
  • The secondary and ADA entrance for the Trail is located off of Alpine Lane. To access this entrance, from the Bay Area and Central Valley continue on Highway 49 North and turn left on Snell Street at the Historic Red Church. At the stop sign continue straight on to Bonanza Road. Turn right on Calaveras Street and left on to Alpine Lane. Stay on Alpine Lane which will end at the entrance to the Trail’s Alpine Lane Parking Lot. If traveling south on Highway 49 turn right on School Street, near Sonora High School, then turn right on Snell Street and follow the directions above. (Source: City of Sonora, California)

Background Information on Site: History info, current info, facts, etc. or a brochure from the site. Try to get at least 50 copies for the draft notebooks.

Dragoon Gulch Trail provides its visitors with a unique opportunity to stroll through the Mother Lode's oak woodlands. The Dragoon Gulch Trail is a system of trails creating a 2 1/2 mile loop. The trails travel along a natural creek up to a vista that provides a spectacular view of the City and its surrounding mountain ranges. The trails vary in difficulty making it perfect for the casual walker and for those who want a strenuous hike or jog.

  • North Forest Trail (1650 Ft./Average Slope 5%) Moderate
    The North Forest Trail leaves from the kiosks area at the Woods Creek Park entrance. Following the Trail Pavement Markers, cross over the bridge and continue along N. Forest Road. This Trail is well shaded and travels through a quiet neighborhood to connect with the South Creekside Trail.
  • South Creekside Trail (1242 Ft./Average Slope 1.5%) Easy
    This Trail is surfaced and ADA accessible from the Alpine Lane Parking Lot. Enjoy a tranquil stroll while meandering along the seasonal creek. As you hike along the Trail you will see many wetland trees, shrubs, birds and aquatic insects. This Trail connects with the North Creekside Trail and the Alpine Lane Parking Lot.
  • North Creekside Trail (1368 Ft./Average Slope 4.5%) Easy
    This natural surface Trail continues along the seasonal creek. Along the creek you will see several piles of “mine tailings” (discarded rock left from early mining operations in the gulch). The Trail provides access to both the Ridge and Vista Trails.
  • Ridge Trail (3536 Ft./Average Slope 5%) Moderate
    The gentle grade of this naturally surfaced Trail travels through groves of oaks and pines as it tops the ridge and joins the Vista Trail. Interesting rock formations exist at the top of the Trail. Note the mine pit and sections of the miner’s ditches as you walk along the Trail.
  • Vista Trail (2066 Ft./Average Slope 11.5%) Strenuous
    This naturally surfaced Trail is the steepest of the Dragoon Gulch Trail System but well worth the effort to see the beautiful vistas at the top. Take advantage of the strategically placed benches to rest and enjoy the view of Historic Sonora and its beautiful mountain ranges. As you travel downhill along this Trail a canopy of Manzanita bushes will keep you cool. In the springtime this Trail is abundant with wildflowers.

The History of Dragoon Gulch: This region was occupied in historic and late prehistoric times by the Miwok Indians who appeared in the area ca. 800 years ago. The region also received seasonal visits by members of the Paiute from east of the Sierra Nevada and the Yokut from the San Joaquin Valley. They eventually moved their camps farther up into the mountains as the population of the area increased.

The discovery of gold in 1848 precipitated a world-wide rush to the Sierra Nevada foothills.Virtually overnight the land was populated with gold-seekers from all over the world. Although there was mining activity in the Sonora area in 1848, the first documented discovery was in Wood’s Creek on March 17, 1849 (near the site of Sonora High School). Towns, such as Sonora, Columbia and Jamestown, quickly sprang up around the major strikes.

The City of Sonora, known as the “Queen of the Southern Mines”, was established in 1848 by miners emigrating from the State of Sonora, Mexico. The early settlement was often referred to as the Sonoran Camp. As thousands of eager gold seekers made their way to the Camp so came merchants with a wide variety of tools and supplies, butchers, bakers, mule packers, teamsters, along with those aiming to open restaurants, lodging houses and saloons, thus a town was born. Sonora, incorporated on May 1, 1851, has served as Tuolumne County’s seat of government and its commercial center since its inception.

Placer mining occurred on Dragoon Gulch as early as 1849, but not extensively until after 1852 due to the lack of water. Dragoon Gulch was named for a group of dragoons, or cavalry soldiers of the United States Army, who stayed in the area and mined for gold in the ravine. It is unknown if the soldiers were deserters from their units or on legal furlough to mine for gold. The date they began mining is unknown, but it was probably in early 1849.

Later, the whole of Dragoon Gulch, between its source in the rich gravel deposits of the Shaws Flat area to its confluence with Woods Creek, was heavily worked by placer miners. In the early days some of the rich gravel was carted (about two miles northeast) as far as the springs at Springfield to be washed. Other miners dug wells or used water impounded from a number of springs in the ravines at the head of Dragoon Gulch. The first outside water supply arrived from Sullivan’s Creek in February 1851 when the Sullivan Creek Water Company completed its ditch. The Tuolumne County Water Company provided some water in late 1852.

Like other areas mined, the miners had varied luck. Some did very well and others made barely enough to survive. One success was reported in the San Francisco Daily Herald of November 23, 1852, when a company of French miners found a nugget which weighed 116 ounces and was sold to a Sonora banker for $1,600. In 1853, it was reported that at the extreme upper portion of Dragoon Gulch miners were only making from $5 to $8 per day.

At first there were no formalized rules governing the mining of gold. On August 11, 1854 a convention of miners formed the “Shaws Flat Mining District”, which included the upper portion of Dragoon Gulch. They adopted laws governing mining within the district boundaries. Claimants were required to be rectangular in shape and were not to contain an area in excess of 100 feet square. Claimants were limited to one claim each unless by purchase, and the purchased claim could be held only as long as miners were kept at work upon it for one day out of each three.

Following the decline of the placer deposits in the Mother Lode after ca. 1860, ranching and the timber industry became more important to the foothill economy. It was not until the late 1880s that the technology and mining methods for hard rock (lode) mining were sufficiently advanced to warrant large-scale underground mining. Extensive areas of both placer and hard rock mining activity are still evident along the trail. Features include piles of randomly stacked and hand-stacked waste rock, open pits, and portions of the original ditch system.

The most infamous event that took place at Dragoon Gulch was the murder of Captain George W. Snow on Tuesday, June 10, 1851. Snow, a native of Maine, was thirty-one years old. Two Mexicans or Mexican Indians, who had worked for him, purchased a long tom from the Captain. They arranged for him to come the next morning to their encampment for payment. Apparently this was just a ruse to rob and murder him, as it was known that he carried a considerable amount of money.

When Captain Snow arrived at their tent, one of the murderers made a great show of weighting out the gold at a table in the center of the tent. While Snow was concentrating on the gold weighing the other Mexican slipped up behind the captain and viciously stabbed him. He hastily left the tent, calling out for help. He proceeded some 15 yards before he fell from loss of blood. Help arrived and he was carried to his own quarters. He lived until midnight, and was conscious long enough to describe the attack and identify his killers.

When the authorities investigated they discovered that the murderers had dug a grave in their tent where they were going to hide Snow’s body. They had concealed the cavity from view with a table and blanket. As soon as the neighboring miners found out what had happened they searched for the villains, but they had gotten away. They even offered a $1,000 award for their capture. The following Sunday, the men were found in Sonora and arrested.

Immediately upon their arrest, the two suspects, Antonio Cruz and Patricio Janori were taken to Shaw’s Flat by their captors, where they were tried in a People’s Court. T. P. McDonald was appointed Judge, Major Perrin L. Solomon as Marshal, Noah Smith as Clerk, Van Praag as Interpreter, Caleb Dorsey as Attorney for the People, and Mr. A. Heath had the difficult job as the Prisoner’s Counsel.

Juries were then selected, one for each man, and their trial proceeded in what was described as fair and impartial. Although every opportunity was given the accused to establish their innocence, the evidence was overwhelmingly against them, proving their guilt in the crime beyond a doubt.

After the verdict the Court was adjourned, leaving the disposition of the prisoners to the assembled men. They voted to hang the murderers forthwith, at the precise spot where they had murdered Snow, and to bury them in the grave they had dug for their victim. They waited an hour so that a priest could administer the solemn rites of his office, then the sentence was swiftly, promptly and unflinchingly carried out.

A more positive story is that of Thomas Gilman, who mined in Dragoon Gulch and owned property close by. He was born a slave in Tennessee and came to California with his owner, Joseph B. Gilman of Green County, Tennessee, in 1849.

After a short time, Tom realized that the opportunity for freedom was a possibility. His owner proposed that Tom work overtime and save the extra money which he could use to buy his freedom. The amount agreed upon was $1,000. When Tom was close to raising the $1,000 his owner told him that the can of gold dust had been stolen and Tom would have to start all over again. This, of course, was a blow to Tom but he began saving again. His neighbors, who thought a great deal of Tom, and not much of his owner, advised him to have everything in writing, and to protect his money. They were quite certain Tom’s owner was the thief.

On August 17, 1852 a Bill of Sale was drawn up giving Tom his freedom, but not recorded until June 17, 1853, in Tuolumne County Deed Book A, Volume 2, Pages 84 and 85.

Know all men by these presents that whereas I J. B. Gillman a citizen of the county of Greene and State of Tennessee being the owner of a negro Slave called Thomas, of dark complexion which by the constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee said negro Thomas is a Slave for life to the said J. B. Gillman his heirs an assigns: now for and in consideration of the Sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to me the said J. B. Gillman in hand paid by the said Slave Thomas I have this day contracted with said Thomas Slave as aforesaid for the said sum of one Thousand dollars ($1,000) to me in hand paid as aforesaid by the said Slave Thomas as aforesaid liberated and released the said Slave from further Servitude or bondage in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal at Shaws flats in the county of Tuolumne and State of California this 17th day of August 1852.

J. B. Gillman (Seal)

Shortly after this Joseph Gilman left the country, but Tom, taking the last name of Gilman, stayed. He mined along Dragoon Gulch and one day dug up a piece of gold which was worth $2,500. This took care of him for several years.

As he grew older he continued to mine, but gradually turned to farming and lived quite comfortably upon the proceeds of his orchards, vineyard, garden and chickens. His small cabin was located on the Sonora-Shaws Flat Road. During the hot, dusty summer months he would keep a pail of fresh spring water on a bench with a shiny dipper for the convenience of those who were thirsty. During this time he became known as “Uncle Tom Gilman,” a name by which he was fondly known for nearly three decades.

As he grew older and unable to work, his friends saw to it that he was provided for. Friends from Sonora would drive out with huge baskets of food and delicacies. When his money was gone, his real estate was sold at public auction to Matthew Marshall, the sole bidder, for $1,000. Marshall promptly transferred the property to John Ratto, Gilman’s guardian, for $10. Tom died in 1911 and was buried in the Shaws Flat cemetery. Uncle Toms Drive in Sonora was named in honor of Tom Gilman.

Source: City of Sonora, California

To see the flora that is present on this trail, visit the following website:
www.sonoraca.com/visitsonora/Dragoon/Trees-Shrubs.pdf

Jamestown Gold Panning in Woods Creek

Address: Gold Prospecting Adventures, LLC, 18170 Main St., PO Box 1040, Jamestown, CA 95327
Contact Telephone: 209-984-4653
Contact Person E-mail: info@goldprospecting.com
Website: www.goldprospecting.com
Time of Year: Open Daily 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Costs: At the bottom of the website it says: “Email us today to receive your free visit to Jimtown 1849 mining camp and we will even ship your class some free gold straight from our gold mine.” Maybe it’s free for school groups?
Facilities Available: Bathrooms
Parking: for cars, vans, buses, all
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: necessary
Site Capacity: unlimited
Directions to Site: From Main Street in Jamestown: cross over Highway 108 and entrance is on the left.
Background Information on Site: The primary objective of Gold Prospecting Adventures, LLC is to provide students—and teachers—the Great California Gold Rush experience in an authentic Living History environment. Bring your class or youth group to a creek where the original 49ers panned for gold over 150 years ago.

For over 30 years Gold Prospecting Adventures has shared the story of the California Gold Rush with Students.

  • One-Day Adventures
    • In-Class Presentation
      This in-class visit includes a costumed prospector, glass vials, a lecture and pictorial presentation, miners equipment, a short question and answer session, real and fools gold samples plus panning for real gold. (a student activity sheet offering suggestions and fun projects will be sent to you at the time you book this visit. (Minumum Required)
    • 2-hour Adventure
      2 hours of gold panning including living history, prospector guides, gold pans, vials and boots for wading in the water and a choice of our many additional options that you may add to enhance your gold prospecting adventure.
    • 1-hour Adventure
      1 hour of gold panning including living history, prospector guides, gold pans, vials and boots for wading in the water and a choice of our many additional options.
  • Two-Day Adventures
    • Two-Day Overnight Adventure
      2 hours of gold panning includes Living History, prospector guides, gold pans, vials and boots for wading in the creek, a visit from a Storyteller, a personal guide to assist with your agenda and provide a Historic tour of your choice (see field trip options #2). Overnight lodging, cabin and dormitory-style rooms with modern lavatories, hot showers, dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch to go. Swimming pool, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, nature hike, amphitheater with fire pit, and a wagonette ride. (Minimum Required)
    • Two-Day Overnight Camp Out
      2 hours of gold panning including living history, prospector guides, gold pans, vials and boots for wading in the creek, and a camp out Under the Stars like the 49ers did. You stay at a beautiful campground tucked away on the Tuolumne River at 4,300 feet. Bring your own sleeping bags, fishing gear, and meals. There is no electricity but we do provide modern lavatories and hot showers. Enjoy the great outdoors; create a nature hike, play in the meadow, or swim in the river. Take a moment to review the additional options that you may add to enhance your gold prospecting adventure. A guide will meet you at the river camp location, if you wish. (Minimum Required 25)
    • Small Group Two-Day Overnight Adventure
      2 hours of gold panning includes Living History, prospector guides, gold pans, vials and boots gold for wading in the creek, a visit from a storyteller, a personal guide to oversee your agenda and provide a Historic tour (see options 2). Overnight lodging, cabin and dormitory-style rooms with modern lavatories, hot showers, dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch to go. Swimming pool, volleyball, basket ball, and tennis courts, nature hike, amphitheater with fire pit, and a wagonette ride. (Minimum Required) "additional time allows for more gold acquired"
  • Field Trip Options
    1. Storyteller (min.$150)
      A local spinner of folklore relates stories from the gold rush days, (some of them are even true), at your evening camp fire or during gold panning at Jimtown 1849 Gold Mining Camp
    2. Historic Tour: With Guide
      An historic, guided walking tour of: (1) Columbia State Park, known as "the Gem of the Southern Mines" a small community that has maintained its historical integrity i.e.: buildings, businesses overall appearance, since 1852. (2) Knights Ferry was named after the infamous Dr. William Knight who first realized the value of a ferry over the Stanislaus River in 1844. Cross the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi; engineered by President Ulysses S. Grant.
    3. Finger Print of Nature
      Informative 25 minutes that will change the way you look at a river or creek forever. Learn to read the clues natures produces to directs us to the gold. From something as simple as a high watermark, to understanding the power and direction created by helical, laminar flows.

Karen Bakerville Smith Memorial Trail

Address: Columbia Historic State Park Parrotts Ferry Rd., Columbia, California 95310
Contact Telephone: 209-532-0150
Time of Year: year round
Costs: none
Facilities Available: bathrooms, water, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes, with STE; also check with the park
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1/10
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: North Highway 49 out of Sonora; Right on Parrots Ferry Road; Go approximately 3 miles.
Background Information on Site: The Karen Bakerville Smith Memorial Trail is a self-guided 1/2 mile loop trail which was dedicated to a teacher from Tuolumne County looping through native woodland and meadow. The trail brochure tells of the native Miwok people and the drastic changes that were brought to the area because of the Gold Rush.

Knights Ferry (US Army Corps of Engineers)

Address: 17968 Covered Bridge Road, Oakdale, CA 95361
Contact Person: Heather Wright
Title: Interpretive Ranger
Contact Telephone: 209-881-3517
Contact Person E-mail: Stanislaus-info@spk.usace.army.mil
Time of Year: year round
Costs: none
Facilities Available: bathrooms, water, picnic tables, visitor center
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:5
RSVP: necessary for a docent
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: Highway 120/108 east of Oakdale
Background Information on Site: Knights Ferry Covered Bridge is one of Stanislaus County’s most historic structures which opened May 30, 1863. It is 330 feet long and is the longest structure of its kind west of the Mississippi river. It is now only for walking visitors and bicycles. The modern car bridge over the Stanislaus River is a great spot to observe the spawning salmon in the fall each year.

Lyons Reservoir

Address: 4.9 miles from the upper Twain Harte entrance east on Highway 108
Time of Year: Opened May 1st to October 31st.
Costs: none
Facilities Available: bathrooms, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans. Buses should not drive this road. One lane in many places.
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes with STE
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:5
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: End of Lyons Reservoir Rd, off of Hwy 108.
Background Information on Site: Lyons is a Pacific, Gas and Electric reservoir and dam with fishing, hiking, horseback riding on designated trails on the former Sugar Pine Rail Road Grade from Lyons Reservoir to Frazer Flat and Strawberry. There is no swimming in the reservoir.

Moccasin Creek Fish Hatchery (U.S. Department of Fish and Game)

Address: PO Box 159 Moccasin CA 95347
Off Highway 49 at junction of Highways 49 and 120, 20 miles south of Sonora. (Tuolumne County)
Contact Person: Tom Grove
Title: Fish Hatchery Manager
Contact Telephone: 209-989-2312
Time of Year: year round
Costs: None
Facilities Available: bathrooms
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: Off Highway 49 at junction of Highways 49 and 120, 20 miles south of Sonora (Tuolumne County).
Background Information on Site: The Moccasin Creek Fish Hatchery opened in 1954 and is located on property leased from the City and county of San Francisco. Water is taken from the afterbay of the moccasin Creek Powerhouse, which is a part of the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System.

The hatchery opened with 24 dirt ponds. It has expanded over the years to include 48 concrete ponds, each 100 feet long. In 1988, a bird enclosure screen was installed over the ponds to keep predatory Great Blue herons, Belted kingfishers, and other birds away from the fish. The fence also protects the fish from human predators.

The Moccasin Creek fish hatchery is open to the public from 7:30am-3:30pm daily. The entrance road is near the Junction of Highway 120 and Highway 49.

New Melones Visitor Center

Address: 6850 Studhorse Flat Rd, Sonora, CA 95370-8869
Contact Person: Ranger at the Visitor Center
Title: Ranger
Contact Telephone: (209) 536-9543.
Time of Year: year round
Costs: none
Facilities Available: bathrooms, water, picnic tables, museum, visitor center.
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1/10
RSVP: only if using docent from Visitor Center
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 30; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: The Visitor Center and Museum are located on Highway 49, between Sonora and Angels Camp, just 1/4 mile south of the Highway 49 Stevenot Stanislaus River Bridge.
Background Information on Site: The Visitor Center and Museum are open Memorial Weekend through Labor Day, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. From Labor Day through Memorial Weekend it is open five days a week, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Volunteers and ranger staff are available to provide you information, maps and orientation to New Melones Lake and other local interests.

The New Melones Lake Visitor Center and Museum were completed as a part of the New Melones project in 1992. The facility was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation to address a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) for Cultural Resources as mitigation for the loss of archeological, historical and cultural resources and sites as a part of the New Melones project. This agreement was entered into by the Bureau of Reclamation, California State Historic Preservation Office, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Its main purpose is to present the public with information on the use of the Stanislaus River by prehistoric and historic peoples. The New Melones Lake area has been occupied for more than 9,000 years. The lands adjacent to the Stanislaus River contain hundreds of prehistoric and historic archeological sites. The area was important during the California Gold Rush and subsequent mining periods. In more recent years, the New Melones Lake area has been of interest to water users, power production, and recreation.

Source: www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/visitor_center.html

Pinecrest Lake

Address: Pinecrest Lake Road
Contact Person: Lori Klingberg, USFS
Title: Interpretive Specialist
Contact Telephone: 209-586-3234
Contact Person E-mail: lori.klinberg@sbcglobal.net
Time of Year: year round
Costs: No costs; if interpretive specialist use, then $1 per student
Facilities Available: bathrooms, water, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1/10
RSVP: necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 75
Directions to Site: Thirty miles from Sonora; drive east on Highway 108; turn right on Pinecrest Lake Road and drive one mile to parking area.
Background Information on Site: Pinecrest Recreation Area is located at Pinecrest Lake, a 300-acre lake owned and operated under a FERC license by Pacific, Gas and Electric Company. The Recreation Area lies in a timbered setting at an elevation of 5,600 feet. The California Department of Fish and Game regularly stocks Pinecrest Lake with rainbow trout. Groceries and other services are available at the Pinecrest commercial center. Recreation opportunities available at the Pinecrest Recreation Area include:

  • 300 camp sites with tables, grills, flush toilets and piped water in 2 campgrounds (Pinecrest Campground and Meadowview Campground)
  • 3 group sites with tables, grills, fireplaces, vault toilets and piped water in 1 group campground (Pioneer Trail Group Campground)
  • Day Use Sites: Pinecrest Boat Launch; 50 picnic sites with grills, flush toilets and piped water in 1 picnic area (Pinecrest); Designated swim area.
  • Fishing: Accessible fishing pier and boat launch available.
  • Hiking: Pinecrest National Recreation Trail, a 4 mile hiking trail around the lake; Paved pathways connecting points of interest. In winter, the Pinecrest Recreation Area is a popular destination for snowplay, downhill and nordic skiing. Groomed or marked trails are maintained for winter recreationists throughout the area.

Red Hills (Bureau of Land Management)

Address: 1/2 mile south of Chinese Camp, California.
Contact Person: Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office; 5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762; Fax: (916) 941-3199; Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact Telephone: (916) 941-3101
Time of Year: year round
Costs: There are no fees to enter the site. Please note: A Special Recreation Use Permit is required for all competitive or commercial activities on public lands.
Facilities Available: bathrooms, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes with STE
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: From Sonora, take State Highway 49 south 15 miles to Chinese Camp, then drive south on Red Hills Road for 1/2 mile.
Background Information on Site: The Red Hills is a region of 7,100 acres of public land located just south of the historic town of Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County. The Red Hills are noticeably different from the surrounding countryside. The natural serpentine in the area causes the plant assemblage to be limited to those species that are tolerant of such minerals. Included among the buckbrush and gray pine is a rich diversity of annual wildflowers that put on a showy display every spring. The endangered bald eagle is a winter resident of the area.
Visitor Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, wildflower viewing, birding, mountain biking, limited hunting. Target shooting is prohibited. Off-road vehicle use is prohibited.
Trail length: Interpretive nature trail system with various loops, total of about 17.3 miles.

Riverside Day Use Area

Address: Cottonwood Road out of Tuolumne City
Contact Person: None
Time of Year: year round
Costs: None
Facilities Available: bathrooms, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans, buses: Tight for buses but can do.
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes STE and USFS
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:5 due to the closeness to the river water
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: 20 parking spots; Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: year round
Directions to Site:

  • Take 108 highway to Tuolumne Road to Tuolumne City
  • Left onto Carter Street (.2 miles)
  • Right Buchanan Mine Road (2.7) across bridge
  • Right Entrance to Riverside Day Use Area

Background Information on Site: This area is managed by the USFS Miwok Ranger District. River flow fluctuates according to season. Open from 6:00am–9:00pm.

Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Tuolumne Utilities District)

Address: 18885 Nugget Blvd., Sonora, CA 95370
Contact Telephone: 209-532-5536
Time of Year: year round
Costs: none
Facilities Available: bathrooms
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 30 at one time; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site: From the center of Sonora, go south on Stockton Street. Left onto Southgate Drive. Drive all the way to the end of the road.
Background Information on Site:
The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) owns and operates the Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP), and associated wastewater collection and disposal system. The TUD provides sewer services to approximately 25,000 people and has design capacity of 2.6 million gallons per day (mgd). The SRWTP produces secondary treated, disinfected effluent that is discharged to a large storage reservoir (Quartz Reservoir) prior to distribution for reclamation by agricultural end-users.

Trail of the Survivors

Address: Dodge Ridge Road near Pinecrest Community Center
Contact Person: Amy Roe: USFS
Title: Interpretive Specialist
Contact Telephone: 209-965-3434, ext 5459
Contact Person E-mail: aroe@fs.fed.us
Time of Year: Spring, Summer, Fall
Costs: No cost unless using Interpretive Specialist, then $1 per student
Facilities Available: none
Parking: for cars, vans, buses
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes
Self-Guided: No
Adult/Student Ratio: 1/8
RSVP: necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: 3 groups of 30 students, staggered
Directions to Site: From Highway 108, turn right on Pinecrest Lake Road. Turn right on dodge Ridge Road. Just past Meadowview Campground turn right on Community Center Road. Trail of the Survivors is on the left.
Background Information on Site: Easy one mile trail; conducive to any outdoor education topic: water, trees, Me-Wuk history, etc.

Westside Railroad Grade Trail

Address: Intersection of Buchanan Mine Road and Mira Monte Road just outside of Tuolumne City
Time of Year: year round
Costs: None
Facilities Available: water, picnic tables
Parking: for cars, vans, buses:
Docents Available for Field Trip: Yes, STE, USFS or Tuolumne Museum
Self-Guided: Yes
Adult/Student Ratio: 1:10
RSVP: not necessary
Site Capacity: Number of Students: unlimited; Number of visits per year: unlimited
Directions to Site:

  • Highway 108 to Tuolumne Road
  • Left on Carter Street
  • Right on Buchanan Mine Road
  • Less than a mile
  • Parking on left side

Background Information on Site: Trailhead at Miramonte subdivision on Cottonwood Road, one mile east of downtown Tuolumne City. Enjoy an easy walk along the historic Westside railroad grade, overlooking the Tuolumne River Canyon. Springtime walk offers wildflowers galore.

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