Joe and I recently did the last 2/3 of the Way Too Cool course which is about 22 miles. Once you cross highway 49 you are running on the Quarry Trail which is along the American River. Also along the Quarry Trail is an old mine.
The Quarry Trail starts at Highway 49, just uphill from the Auburn Confluence and ends in a trail junction above Maine Bar. It is an 11 mile out and back trail that is wonderful for all abilities to enjoy the history and activities this trail has to offer. Off of highway 49 there is a parking lot which costs $10 or you can park on the side of the road.
The route is a gently rolling doubletrack that provides some pleasant views as it follows along the Middle Fork of the American River. Hiking to Hawver Cave follows The Quarry Trail and the route of the gold rush era Grand Flume, a 13-mile long wood and canvas flume that was built annually by private mining companies to extract gold from the river during the late 1850s.The Mountain Quarries Railroad also used the first 1 1/4 miles of the trail in the early 1900’s to transport limestone from the quarry up to Auburn. Remnants of a large limestone-loading platform for the rail cars can still be seen on the trail.