School is winding down, the mercury is rising and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the coming summer season and the great outdoors. Don your summer attire, grab your sunscreen and bug repellent, prepare your favorite snack, pour a refreshing bottle of water and don’t forget your camera — all necessities when hitting the hiking trail. Oh, and grab a friend. They are good for companionship — and safety, too.
With everything in hand head off on Stevens Trail, a popular year-round hiking trail on the National Register of Historic Places. The 4.5-mile trail (9 miles round trip) running along the northwestern slope of the North Fork of the American River Canyon offers a gentle slope suitable for most novice hikers, and presents a series of spectacular views of beautiful wildflower displays, dogwood and redbud trees and bright, colorful lower plant canopies, all beckoning to be immortalized in pictures. You will also pass the infamous China Wall built by Chinese laborers, several mine shafts and other early signs of mining.