“After climbing half of Training Hill, this merciful loop returns via Pig Farm Trail.”
— Justin Johnsen
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildlife
If you're looking for a strenuous loop that's shorter on distance, this is the perfect loop for you. You'll ascend on the Pointed Rocks Fire Break Trail
for a tough up, and then finish the loop by returning via the mellower Pig Farm Trail
and Western States Trail.
The trail signs for both Training Hill (on the Pointed Rocks Trail) and Pig Farm Trail
warn that they are steep. This is a fine and less severe loop trail for hot summer afternoons, when the oak and pine wooded Pig Farm Trail
offers a milder respite.
From the Auburn confluence area, follow an uphill trail left, and soon hikers will take a right, at the two signs marking the way clearly to Training Hill Trail. Power up 750 feet of elevation gain, keeping an eye on the bridge up the canyon of the North Fork of the American River, until you surpassed it in height. Here, watch the left side of the trail for the well marked Pig Farm Trail
This trail ends in a T-intersection into the Western States Trail, with Cool indicated to the right, and Auburn to the left. Return via the Auburn sign. This final bit of the trail is fully exposed to traffic noise from the Golden Highway route 49.
Flora & Fauna
Bird and butterflies abound along the whole loop, and the Pig Farm section of trail is popular with mule deer.