It’s no secret that Northern California was a hot spot for railroad activity back in the day. However, many of the old railroad grades that were once roaring with life have sat untouched for decades. So, what is there to do? Turn it into an epic hiking trail, of course! The El Dorado Trail offers several miles of scenic beauty alongside the historic railroad grade that runs through the county. Containing everything from bridges and tunnels to wide-open expanses, this abandoned railroad trail in Northern California offers a unique adventure that’s bound to leave an impression on you. It’s one of the best hikes in Northern California and we think you’ll love it as we do!

This trail is a fun, scenic trail for both hiking and mountain biking. Have you hiked or biked this unique railroad trail yet? This is such a great way to transform those old abandoned rails in our state. Don’t forget to check out one of the most iconic rail-to-trail hikes when you read about this epic abandoned railroad hike in Northern California.

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Best Hikes in Northern California

What are some great kid-friendly hikes around Northern California?

There are many kid-friendly hikes around Northern California that everyone is sure to love. Some kid-friendly hikes around Northern California include:

  • Hot Creek Interpretive Trail, Mammoth Lakes, CA: A 1.6-mile out-and-back trail that will delight young minds (and old) with beautiful views of the Inyo National Forest.
  • Pleasants Ridge Trail, Winters, CA: A 0.7-mile trail with scenic views of the eastern tip of Lake Berryessa.
  • Patrick’s Point Trail, Trinidad, CA: Patrick’s Point Trail, near Trinidad, is a quick 0.2-mile long trail that offers ridiculously awe-inspiring views of the coast.
  • Stout Memorial Grove Trail, Crescent City, CA: The amazing Stout Memorial Grove Trail near Crescent City is known for its epic Redwood trees along the way.


We typically define a kid-friendly hike as one that’s under two miles long and is rated as easy; that way, most little ones can do it without an issue. That's not to say there aren't tougher hikes that your kids can handle if they really love trail hunting as you do.

For more information about these trails and a few more, check out this previous article on Northern California's best kid-friendly hikes under one mile in length.

What are some nice, easy hikes in Northern California?

Some easy hikes in Northern California include:


Northern California is a wonderland for hikers, even those who would rather keep it easy instead of getting crazy with the hiking thing. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds (if not thousands) of wonderful, low-key, easy hikes in Northern California.

Some of our favorites include awesome trails like the Flanagan and Chamise Peak Trail, near Redding, which offers incredible mountain views (including of the nearby Mt. Shasta). While near Mt. Shasta, you’ll also want to check out the Lake Siskiyou Trail, which not only offers great views of the peaks but also the lake mentioned in the moniker. Cascade Falls Trail near Tahoma is ridiculously amazing, and at just under a mile and a half long, it’s the perfect morning hike for when you don’t have a lot of time. As long as you know where to look, you’re bound to find an amazing hike somewhere in beautiful Northern California.

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