Fall in the air, aspens and willows turning bright yellow and orange and a new and improved trailhead combine to make October the perfect time to enjoy the Land Trust's Elizabethtown Meadows Trail.
Starting at the intersection of Highway 267 and Northstar Drive, the trail meanders 2.3 miles through Jeffrey pines, aspens and along three large mountain meadows on its way to Waddle Ranch Preserve, where it joins other trails for those looking for longer walks. With little elevation gain, it's a great choice looking for a short saunter, and often stays accessible later in the fall when early snows blanket higher peaks.
Once the site of a booming silver rush town in the 1870s, the property is still dotted with interesting historic relics for those with a sharp eye. The trail crosses the Middle Fork of Martis Creek, and often opens up to great views of the Sierra Crest above and Martis Valley below.
For those who want to bring a lunch along, a picnic table close to the 267/Northstar Drive intersection, sitting just above a meadow, makes for a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the scenery while eating a snack.
The trail is open to hiking, running, bicycling and non-motorized winter use. Park in Northstar's Castle Peak parking area (first right at the roundabout on Northstar Drive) and cross 267 at the light to get started. Find out more about Elizabethtown Meadows Trail here.
Top thumbnail photo by Bill Stevenson