Running along the North Fork of the American River, the Lake Clementine Trail proceeds directly under the Foresthill Bridge and ends at the North Fork Dam that creates Lake Clementine. The dam was constructed in 1938 by the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate the sediment generated by hydraulic mining operations upstream. Today the lake is used mainly for recreation, and in the warmer months you will often see kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders cruising the clear waters. The Foresthill Bridge is the highest bridge in California, the fourth highest in the United States, and ninth the highest in the world; it has also appeared in several films.
The large, concrete ruins from an old Steel Bridge that was used between 1911 and 1955 can be seen within the first quarter mile. You'll also encounter Clark's Hole, a popular local swimming area in hot summer months that offers a little cliff jumping and a sandy beach for relaxing. Roughly a mile down the trail you will notice large rock abutments that are the last remains of a toll bridge used between 1852 and 1875. Crossing the wood covered bridge cost 6 cents per cow, 50 cents for a horsemen, and a dollar for a wagon and two horses. The last section of trail was originally used during the late 19th century as a stagecoach route connecting the city of Auburn with the Gold Rush camps located along the river.
Numerous chestnuts trees, oaks, madrones, and white alder acorns root in the hillside, and the trail weaves through manzanita, lupine, star thistle, California poppy, and larkspur. Throughout you will see plenty of squirrels and birds.