Placer seeks public input on proposed expansion of Hidden Falls Regional Park

Placer County is taking the next step in a proposed expansion of the popular Hidden Falls Regional Park near Auburn.

The county has released a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report for the expansion proposal, available for public comment until March 1. A public scoping meeting to solicit input on the plan will be held Feb. 21 from 6-8 p.m. in the Placer County Planning Commission Hearing Room, located at 3091 County Center Drive, in Auburn.

The purpose of an NOP is to provide information about the proposed project and its potential environmental impacts, to allow the public and other agencies the opportunity to provide a response related to the scope and content of the EIR, including mitigation measures that should be considered and alternatives that should be addressed.

The county is proposing to grow the park’s trail network by 30 miles and build two new bridges over Coon Creek, additional parking and access areas and other improvements.

Other features of the proposed expansion include Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant accessibility features, drinking water fountains, restrooms, on-site groundwater wells, fire suppression facilities, equestrian features (horse watering and hitching posts), picnic areas, benches, bear-proof trash receptacles and interpretive displays.

Thanks to a partnership with the Placer Land Trust, 2,500 acres of open space near the 1,200 acre Hidden Falls Park have been preserved and can accommodate a potential expansion of the trail system from Hidden Falls to the Bear River. This would result in a trail system approximately 60 miles in length, providing hikers, cyclists and equestrians alike with access to more than double the length of existing multi-use trails.

There will be additional discussions on the project at upcoming meetings of all 10 municipal advisory councils located in western Placer County in February and March.

Questions can be addressed to the project manager, Lisa Carnahan, at lcarnaha@placer.ca.gov, or at 530-889-6837. To make formal comments on the project, which will become a part of the administrative record, please direct them to Shirlee Herrington at sherring@placer.ca.gov.