Description - One of the main features of the Dave Moore Nature Area is a loop trail about a mile long which goes from the parking lot trail head to the South Fork American River and back again passing through several habitat types. Nestled in the heart of gold rush country, the trail is lined with remnants from nearly 150 years ago when Chinese laborers channeled creek water by hand with pick and shovel for gold mining. Tailing piles from the gold rush period blanket the area that lend to the characteristic landscape that makes this area so unique. About half of the trail is constructed to be fully accessible to people with wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
David Moore was born June 4, 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee and died August 13, 2001 in Calistoga, California. He graduated from Calistoga High School in 1967. After graduation, he entered the Navy and served for a term of four years, then attended Humboldt State University where he graduated in 1975. For the next ten years, Moore was employed by the Bureau of Land Management as a Conservation Ranger. He was stricken with multiple sclerosis at age 35 and forced to retire in 1987. Moore was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, whitewater raft, and golf. His disability brought to his co-workers such an awareness of the struggle faced by disabled people that they developed a nature area for the physically challenged along the South Fork of the American River near Coloma, California. On June 4, 1994, National Trails Day and Moore´s 46th birthday, the staff of the Folsom Field Office held a grand opening of the Nature Area, and dedicated it as the Dave Moore Nature Area.
Visitor Activities: Special wheelchair-accessible trail, hiking, picnicking, nature study, bird watching, hobby gold prospecting, swimming, and whitewater rafting (ClassIII). The Dave Moore Nature Area is used by schools for environmental education.
Although donations are accepted, there are no fees to enter the day use site. The Nature Area is open from 8 AM to sunset. Food and supplies are available within a mile of the Nature Area in the town of Coloma. Potable water is not available. Bring your own water. Nearest medical facilities are in the town of Placerville.
Additional Information: There are nine parcels of Public Land along the South Fork American River. All of these parcels are available for public use and enjoyment. Only one, however, is accessible by automobile -- the Dave Moore Nature Area. The rest can only be reached by boat from the river. The river passes by many points of scenic and historical significance (the Dave Moore Nature Area being one of them) and in addition, provides for a wide variety of recreational activities.
The South Fork American River is very popular because the rapids are relatively gentle and the countryside is rich in history. Inexperienced rafters should make arrangements with one the commercial companies who operate on the river. All operators have met strict standards for safety and quality of service.
Directions from Sacramento, CA: Head east along US 50. Take the Ponderosa Road exit and go over the freeway bridge to the stop sign. Turn right on North Shingles Road and proceed for 3 miles. Turn left at the "Y" onto Lotus Road and continue for 5 miles heading north. Turn left at Highway 49 and cross the bridge at the river. Continue for about 1 mile along Hwy. 49. The entrance is on the left at the cobblestone wall.
Directions from Auburn, CA: Take Highway 49 east through the towns of Cool and Pilot Hill, approximately a 14 mile drive. The entrance will be 3 miles south of Pilot Hill on the right at the cobblestone wall.