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Wild Ride through Gold Country

Wild Ride through Gold Country
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It’s hard to beat a springtime bike ride through the Gold Country - temperatures are mild, redbuds bursting with their purple flowers and fiery orange poppies punctuate the lush green hillsides. It might just be the perfect way to cruise the foothills and take it all in at your own pace. We suggest taking this route, also known as Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride.

Starting at Feeney Park, the route heads through downtown Murphys and up French Gulch Road, a favorite local back road lined with oak trees and hayfields, then down Murphys Grade Road into Angels Camp. Grab a drink and a bite at the first rest stop before the ride meanders through the hilly neighborhoods of Angels Camp above Greenhorn Creek golf resort and then south on Highway 49.

From there it’s up Red Hill Road, another fun hidden back road with historic ranches that will bring you past Twisted Oak Winery before dropping into the hamlet of Vallecito. Its Union Church is a California Historic Landmark and just down the road is California’s largest cave, Moaning Cavern. The following section of the route offers those cyclists on the 100K plan the option of a time trial for the climb back up from Parrotts Ferry Bridge on New Melones Lake. As you’re huffing and puffing your way up the hill, you’ll pass the trailhead for Natural Bridges, an amazing series of limestone caverns you can swim through - it’s one of several popular summer swimming spots in the area.

A giant loop back through Angels Camp and up to Murphys via Murphys Grade Road will have you back at Feeney Park.

Insider’s Tip: Every April, participate in the Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride event where you can ride with cyclists from all over Northern California and finish with great food, live music, and more!

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