Discover the hidden nuggets of Placer County history by traveling the Heritage Trail. This 2nd annual event features 18 Placer County museums located between Roseville and North Lake Tahoe. All museums are open on the weekend of August 8th & 9th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and admission is free. You’ll learn about the pivotal role our county played in important events such as the California Gold Rush, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and later, as one of the richest fruit growing regions in the nation.
This family fun weekend is a trip back in time to Placer County’s rich and colorful history where 19th century immigrants rushed to find California’s golden nuggets, crews blasted through Sierra granite to lay track for the first Transcontinental Railroad and quarry men mined granite for famous buildings far and near. The County also shipped thousands of rail cars of fresh fruit to East Coast markets each year and welcomed world visitors to the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley.
‘There’s something for everyone on this travel adventure,’ said Melanie Barton, Placer County Museums Administrator and The Heritage Trail chairperson. ‘Whether you visit one museum or all 18, you’ll find a wide variety of hands-on activities and knowledgeable volunteers waiting to share local history.’
The Heritage Trail is also a chance to enjoy old-fashioned fun. All museums will have activities for the whole family. Children can try out sack racing, hand-cranking ice cream, churning butter and panning for gold while parents may prefer a tour of one of the scenic Old Towns, wine tasting and checking out the 14-foot longboards that miners used to ski race at 80 miles an hour.
All 18 museums are easily accessible from Interstate 80 between Roseville and Tahoe. Many locations have picnic areas and Trail Travelers are encouraged to pack a picnic basket and follow the history tour.
Visitors can also elect to travel by bus or van. A bus tour and a van tour will depart daily from Auburn. On the Saturday bus trip, Trail Travelers will visit the Golden Drift Museum, Colfax Area Heritage Museum, Forest Hill Divide Museum, and the Griffith Quarry Museum. On Sunday, the bus will travel west and make stops at the Rocklin History Museum, Fruitvale School, Roseville Telephone Museum, Roseville Historical Society Carnegie Museum, and the Maidu Interpretive Center. On both days, the van tour will explore sections of the Lincoln Highway and visit the Gatekeeper’s Museum and Watson Cabin in Tahoe City and the SkiSport Museum. A picnic stop is planned for all tours and participants can order a box lunch or bring a picnic. All tours cost $10.00 and reservations are required.
Valley Museums include:
Roseville Historical Society Carnegie Museum
Maidu Interpretive Center
Roseville Telephone Museum
Rocklin History Museum
Griffith Quarry Museum
Auburn Museums include:
Placer County Museum in the Historic Courthouse
Gold Country Medical History Museum
Joss House Museum;
Bernhard Museum Complex
Gold Country Museum
Benton Welty Schoolroom
Foothill Museums include:
Forest Hill Divide Museum
Colfax Area Heritage Museum
Golden Drift Museum
Mountain Museums include:
Western SkiSport Museum