Remember, Mother Nature (or the government) is probably re-doing some of these trails as you read this.  Nothing is guaranteed!  Check the LBHA website frequently,  or e-mail LBHA if you find something to correct or add.  Read   about  "Trail  Safety and Etiquette"  on the LBHA Trail Welcome Page

Updated Monday May 30, 2011
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Location: Hwy 80 near  Meadow Vista
Date reviewed: January 2004
     (not on site)  

Unbelievable but true: a developer has accommodated trail users by granting an easement all around the development. The Winchester loop trail opened in Summer of 2003 and is an excellent example of saving an interesting and scenic trail for riders, hikers, and bikers in spite of the construction within the development. The County worked with Meadow Vista Trails Association to provide excellent footing, remarkable engineering, clear directions, careful preservation of wetlands, and more. Hopefully this will be a model for other development in Placer County.

You park in a temporary staging area that is shaded with room for 6 rigs. First walk your horse up the main road until you pass the church property on the right. The loop begins and ends right after the first little street. If you begin to the left (across Sugar Pine ), you will tackle the switchbacks soon into the ride. Begin on the right and you will have a very relaxing warmup before you reach the heavy-breather switchbacks.

Once on the trail itself, the footing is carefully graded, and drains well. No one would complain about all the shade trees, but when the leaves on the ground are thick and wet, it can be a little too slick for much trotting or cantering.

The trail follows the actual border of Winchester property, originally bounded by an old barbed wire fenceline. As quickly as possible the MVTA is removing this and replacing it with safer cable. Whenever the trail crosses a bog, marsh, or stream, the engineers provided the appropriate culvert, overpass, or bridge. When the trail passes neighbors with barking dogs, they nicely posted a sign to advise the dogs are just noisy. (They’ re also on the other side of the fence!) One non-Winchester neighbor has provided a waterer for trail horses, and there is another watering spot as well.

On the one long steep hill, with switchbacks, someone knew exactly how long and at what angle to cut the trail, because even one little black out-of-shape horse got up just fine. (Complaining doesn’t count.) The views from the top are spectacular.

This is an approximately 8-mile loop, 2-1/2 to 3 hours at the walk. Thanks to the County and the Meadow Vista Trails Association with Janet Peterson as President, it an excellent trail.

DIRECTIONS: About 20 minutes from Loomis.Take Hwy. 80 East, take the Meadow Vista exit. Go back over 80 onto Placer Hills Road. Go 1 mile to Sugar Pine. Make a very slow left onto Sugar Pine, and make an IMMEDIATE right hand turn over the curb (where it dips a few inches) down into the temporary staging area under the trees. Turn well before the chain link for the church parking lot.

Saddle up, then handwalk (unless your horse is good on pavement with huge construction trucks roaring up behind him a few feet away--NOT!) up past the church. Pick up the trail either on the same side of Sugar Pine (the easy-going beginning) or cross Sugar Pine and begin where the switchbacks will come up within 20 minutes or so.