Elevation range: 600-700', mostly level trail with a few ups and downs
Trailhead Location: Auburn State Recreation Area, Quarry Trail parking, this is a fee area though you can also park along the side of the road where it's not marked as a fee area, but this fills up quickly on the weekends
Mileage: 3-5 miles, but you can hike out for as long as you want along the river
Hiking time: 1-2 hours
Bathrooms: Pit toilet at trailhead, plus a few others along the trail
Accessibility: The first mile of this trail is labeled as a wheelchair-accessible trail, which is a fairly flat gravel road.
This is a nice, easy trail with lots of options for variety and challenge. It's great for everyone from families to hardcore trail runners. You can hike out as far or as short as you want and get a lovely little dose of nature along the way. In the winter and spring, there's lots of water and lots of green. In the summer, you have to go early in the morning to beat the heat, or you can plan to spend some time cooling off in the river.
I love all kinds of trees, but I especially love lichen-covered trees, and there were plenty of those on this trail. They just look so soft and velvety.
This trail, which used to be a railroad line, leads to where the old quarry operation was located with some foundations still remaining.
When you reach a big open area with a picnic area and interpretive signs, you'll see a sign leading up the road to a climbing area. It's a steep little hill, but well worth the hike! You'll arrive at the old granite quarry amphitheater that is now used by climbers. It's a gorgeous little area and even if you're not a climber, it's fun to just sit and watch and admire their skills.
When you hike back down and continue on the main trail, you'll immediately pass Hawver's Cave. This is a cave that was discovered in 1900, where prehistoric fossils were found, and then later was used for the mine operation. It was closed during WWII and later gated off in 2006. So unfortunately the only view you get is through the gate.
There are numerous picnic tables along the trail, so when the weather is nice these would be great places to stop and enjoy the view.
This is overall a great little hike to have in your back pocket whenever you want to just get outside for a quick dose of nature! Here's your 15 seconds of zen...