Dave Moore Nature Area
The site is located approximately 2 miles west of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park at Coloma on Highway 49 in El Dorado County, California, along the scenic and popular South Fork American River. (Need a map? Click here.)
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 which lend to the characteristic landscape that makes this area so unique.
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 persons 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 46 birthday, the staff of the Mother Lode Field Office held a grand opening of the Nature Area, and dedicated it as the Dave Moore Nature Area.
From Eastbound Highway 50 - Take the Ponderosa Road exit and go over the freeway bridge to the stop sign. Turn right on North Shingle 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.
From Eastbound Interstate 80 - Take the Highway 49 exit heading south at the town of Auburn. Continue along Hwy 49 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.
Hiking, picnicking, nature study, bird watching, jogging, swimming and baby stroller accessible.
PLEASE NO EQUESTRIAN USE ON TRAIL.
Permits, Fees, Limitations:
Although donations are accepted, there are no fees to enter the site. The Nature Area is open from 8:00 am to sunset.
Camping and Lodging Facilities:
Camping is not permitted on-site. Day use only.
Food and Supplies:
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.
The South Fork American River is very popular because the rapids are relatively gentle and the countryside is rich in history. If you are not an experienced rafter, we suggest you make your trip with one the the commercial companies who operate on the river. All operators have met strict standards for safety and quality of service.