The Forgotten Soldier Program has amazing Outdoor Adventures you can join!
Participating veterans and first responders experienced world-class mountain biking in Downieville CA, located 70 miles north of Auburn on Hwy 49. With over 500 miles of trails, Downieville offers mountain biking for beginners through advanced riders within picturesque alpine scenery. Our riders had the option to bring their own bikes or were provided free rentals of standard or e-bikes, plus safety gear, through Downieville Outfitters. Our group choosing a casual ride experienced a tree-lined dirt road with mild inclines and an option to ride around the historic town. Our advanced riders navigated expert single-track trails along the Yuba River with steep inclines and fast downhill sections. After the ride, the group came together for a delicious lunch at Two Rivers Café.
We partnered with American Whitewater Expeditions to provide our veterans and first responders with a full day of whitewater rafting along the south fork of the American River. We started our journey in Coloma CA, 17 miles east of Auburn, and ended the day paddling into Folsom Lake. Along the river, we were able to experience class III rapids mixed with calm waters within the canyon where participants could leave the raft for a swim in the brisk waters. Lunch was provided mid-day along the river where participants had an opportunity to dry out and enjoy a meal together. After returning to the launch point, those who wished to stay could camp overnight at the property with tents and dinner provided by American Whitewater Expeditions. Sitting around the campfire sharing our experiences and stories was an amazing way to top off an epic day on the river.
Located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove Stables offers guided horseback rides into the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our veterans and first responders were treated to sweeping views of Lake Tahoe as their horses navigated the trails through the mountainside. Each participant was paired with a horse and provided instruction on how to properly ride within the group. After returning to the stable, our veterans and first responders were treated to a BBQ lunch on the stable property prepared by our group leaders. There is extensive research into equine therapy and its positive effects on PTSD. This retreat was a great opportunity to introduce horses to those who may have not ridden or been around them in the past.