Barn Quilt at Rainbow Orchards, El Dorado County

The El Dorado Quilt Trail Project: Exploring the Barn-Lined Backroads

No matter what adventure you are seeking, Northern California’s beautiful El Dorado County will satiate your wanderlust. A fantastic place to explore, whether it is winter, fall, or summertime, El Dorado County is perfect for long drives, hikes, mountain biking, rafting, and much more. The barn-lined backroads have a quaint charm about them that’s appealing to anyone looking for something different. From affordable motels in Placerville, CA to luxurious Bed and Breakfasts in El Dorado Hills, El Dorado County can accommodations you while you explore.

Did you know El Dorado County has an official Quilt Trail running through it? Square blocks that have been hand-painted adorn various barns, businesses, and fences.  Following the trail makes for a truly fun-filled experience, whether you are a quilt enthusiast or not! Check your schedule and plan a trip to El Dorado County to explore breweries, wine trails, apple farms, and the Quilt Trail. (And don’t forget to check for availability in affordable luxury hotels in El Dorado Hills, CA.)

How did it start?

The culture of a people is reflected in their living spaces, stories, art, and activities. One of the ways the people of El Dorado County have expressed their culture is through the Quilt Trail Project. The Quilt Trail movement was founded by Donna Sue Groves to honor her mother back in 2001 in Ohio. Her desire turned into reality when a quilt square was painted on the family’s barn. There has been no turning back since then, and the movement has spread far and wide, eventually reaching El Dorado County.

farm, farm equipment and red barn in el dorado county
Barn quilts can be found throughout El Dorado County.

El Dorado Quilt Trail Project

El Dorado County’s Quilt Trail Project was started by Linda George back in 2014. With the help of some of her quilter, painter, and photographer friends, George networked with the Farm Trails Association of El Dorado County, and the Project came to life. Today, you’ll find 23 hand-painted quilt designs all around the region. Being greeted by these unique quilt squares as you explore, the trail is undeniably charming.

The Project gained popularity with events like the Quilt Block event, which took place at the Big Red Barn in Camino’s Rainbow Orchards, in 2018, and featured a roster of artists sharing their gorgeous hand-painted quilt designs.

When you set out on the Quilt Trail, know that you won’t come across fabric quilts but hand-painted designs referred to as “barn quilts.” These are large squares of wood painted to resemble a quilt block and they beautifully complement the structures they adorn. Barn quilts are typically about 8 feet tall and wide and can be easily spotted. The patterns often have a personal meaning for the barn owners.

Barn quilt at North Canyon Inn, El Dorado County
Don’t miss the barn quilt at North Canyon Inn

Why include the Quilt Trail in your El Dorado County itinerary?

Spotting one of these hand-painted designs atop various structures while driving along the charming backroads will undoubtedly make for a surprising, colorful, and fun-filled road trip. You’ll find barn quilts all over the region, including Pollock Pines, Placerville, Camino, and other nearby communities.

Book a hotel

One of the essential parts of a relaxing vacation is to book a hotel well in advance. For a comfortable stay in El Dorado, we bring the most affordable motels in Placerville, CA. You will also find various luxury hotels in El Dorado Hills, CA!

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Upcoming El Dorado County Events

The El Dorado Quilt Trail Project: Exploring the Barn-Lined Backroads
el dorado county wagon

Community Events Calendar

September 30, 2023
9:00 am Open Garden Days at Sherwood Demonstration Garden
9:00 am Props, Cops & Rodders
9:00 am Shade Gardening Free Class
10:00 am Placerville Arts Association Open Studio Tour
10:00 am The 2023 Gold Bug Quilt Show
11:30 am Element 79 Vineyards Divining experience
12:00 pm Live Music, Arts, & Quality Entertainment at The Green Room Social Club
7:00 pm Imagination Theater presents Clue Onstage