Sugar Pine Trail (Winchester)
Location: Meadow Vista (Placer county) Click to view the map
Address: Placer Hills Rd and Sugar Pine Rd
Web Site: Meadow View Trails Association - http://mvtrails.org/winchester.htm (this will also show you a map of the trail)
Directions: Hwy 80, exit at Meadow Vista – about 5 miles east of Auburn
Staging area: It is a small grassy area on the north west corner of Placer Hills Rd and Sugar Pine Rd owned by P G & E. You do need to drive up and over a small curb to get in - see pictures. There are many trees for shade. There are 2 circle areas to park - see pictures. I found with my long bed crew cab truck and 2 horse trailer I had a hard time making it around the circle, I did have to back up at one point to make the circle to leave. So that said not sure you would want to take a large rig in this staging area. You will need to walk up Sugar Pine Rd about ¼ mile to get to the trail – trail is just before the entrance to Winchester. Going to the left will take you clockwise and going to the right will take you counter clockwise. It doesn’t matter which direction you go but many riders tend to prefer the clockwise direction.
Dogs: allowed on a leash
Trails: The trails are fairly technical and single track, most are fairly rocky. You go behind some homes for about the first 1/3 of the trail going clockwise. You will also encounter the switch backs up Sugar Pine Mountain about 2.5 miles into your ride riding clockwise. The switchbacks going clockwise are fairly technical and not much shade. The switchbacks coming back down are shadier and the trail is less technical. You do cross a couple of roads and the trails are well marked. The trail circles the perimeter of Winchester Estates, they ask you to please stay on the trail and off any private property. There are several creek crossings – all with wooden bridges, most being very low to the ground. The loop is approximately 6.5 miles.
Water: no water available at staging area. We only encountered one small creek crossing where the horses could drink and there were 3 drinking troughs along the way. One is fairly small, another the horses have to put their heads through a fence and the 3rd near the end of the clockwise loop is easy access and was full with very clean water.
Restroom facilities: none
Other info: Barking dogs in some of the back yards. Bikes are allowed on the trail although we did not run into any. Poison oak is out there.