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Best Bike Trails on Sacramento

Sacramento attracts more and more guests, whether they are tourists or California residents willing to move to a nicer area. The city can boast dozens of attractions, beautiful landscapes, marvelous parks, and places to walk around, museums and places to visit, and, of course, numerous bars and restaurants.

Basically, each and every person visiting Sacramento may find a decent place to entertain themselves. Besides all the basic attractions many cities in the world can offer, Sacramento is also famous for its outstanding bike trails that can make every cycling lover happy and content. In our review, we will mention the best trails you can find and ride in the area.

You might be surprised, but there are around a dozen of amazing trails you can go to. 

Sounds good and unusual for a capital city, right? So, let’s dive into the topic: we have prepared a review of the top eight trails for you in Sacramento.

1. American River: Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail

The Jedediah Smith Memorial is an extremely popular trail that has lots of positive comments and reviews from people who have enjoyed their biking days there. It begins at marvelous Folsom lake (Beal’s Point specifically) and ends at Discovery Park (at Jibboom street). The trail’s length is more than 30 miles which makes it one of the longest trails in the area.

Every year, millions of passengers use the trail to cycle. It is not an exaggeration: on average, the number of residents and tourists who visit the Jedediah Smith Memorial trail reaches five million yearly. The trail is considered an easy one which makes it suitable for people of all ages.

Jedediah Smith was an American hunter and transcontinental pioneer who lived at the beginning of the XIX century and founded this trail in Sacramento. The trail stretched from Folsom Lake to the Old Sacramento area back then. However, when the first cars started to appear, and people switched to them from bikes, the trail stopped being a place to visit and even was empty for a long period.

Many years after, in the middle of the XX century, some enthusiasts decided to restore the trail: it was reconstructed and gotten an asphalt in the seventies, and locals started to use it actively once again. The trail is well-maintained: on the way, you will find many fountains with drinking water and restrooms.

Today, the trail offers a great paved surface which is convenient for bikers. Apart from that, passengers enjoy fantastic views of nature and several spots to relax. Also, you can stop for a quick swim or have a picnic on the way. Because the path is long, the views are diverse, and the viewer’s eyes never get bored. People stop by to watch the birds and enjoy the fantastic wild nature atmosphere.

2. American River: From Watt Avenue to Guy West Bridge

This is another beloved trail among tourists and locals because it is only five miles long and takes around an hour to ride. Because the trail goes from one bridge to another, obviously, most of it goes near the river. The trail is a loop, so you will be able to get back easily. You will see spectacular views and unite with nature. The views you will see will impress you with a variety of sceneries. 

This trail is a fantastic way to relax and forget about all your troubles if you have only a couple of hours and do not want to stay home. It is a cool place to visit during weekends, considering that it is kid-friendly, and you can also bring your dog (or dogs) there. The only requirement for the dog is a leash. Also, runners and strollers actively use this trail to exercise or walk.

Many residents note that the trail is fully paved, and thanks to its width, it is comfortable for both bikers and walkers. Regarding the difficulty, it is on the list of easy trails in Sacramento, and it doesn’t have many elevation points.

3. Lake Natoma Trail

As you may guess from its name, the Lake Natoma trail offers marvelous lake views and spectacular moments of your reunion with nature. It will take a bit more than an hour to go from the trail’s beginning to the end; its length is 11 miles. The trail lies between Gold Lake Drive and Hazel avenue and is full of peaceful pine alleys that help bikers to hide in the shades during the hot summer.

Besides the alleys with pines, there is a beautiful combination of landscapes as if they were taken from postcards and also wildlife which was never disturbed by people.

The closer you come to Lake Natoma, the more breathtaking the view becomes. We recommend going for this trail before the sunset to check how the sun goes down with a perfect lake view.

There is one important thing to mention: the trail has a paid entrance; visitors shall pay 10 US dollars to start the unforgettable trip. The path also has a “moderate” difficulty level, so for the newbies, it may seem a bit exhausting; however, it all depends on their physical skills.

4. Two Rivers Trail

The Two Rivers trail lies on the side of the American river, opening great views for passengers who prefer this trail for cycling. It is a short path with only 2,5 miles of pavement that finishes (or starts, depending on the point where you begin riding it) near the crossing of the American River and Sacramento river: this is where the trail’s name comes from.

Every single inch of this trail is followed by marvelous river views and amazing scenery. This road is perfect for those who don’t have much time to cycle but wants to spend some time being surrounded by great landscapes and the harmony of nature mixed with some urban elements.

The local government is developing a project that will prolong the Two Rivers Trail and make it even more attractive for citizens and tourists. One of the aims is to make the path available for all people, including those who wish to visit it and move around but cannot do it yet due to the limited accessibility.

Right now, the Two Rivers Trail at one of its ends joins another trail that we will reveal below.

5. Sacramento River Parkway Trail

The trail curves for almost 10 miles on the side of the Sacramento River and connects Freeport boulevard with Jibboom street. Besides the Two Rivers Trail mentioned above, it also joins another peaceful and beautiful cycling path: the American River trail. So, if you want to prolong your trip after riding through this trail, you have two different options to keep going.

If you choose this trail for your trip, you will get the views of Old Sacramento where you can see buildings that appeared in the XIX century (when the California Gold Rush period hit) and even some old roads made of cobblestone.

When visiting the Old Sacramento district, pay attention to the places you pass. There are some great museums telling about Californian history and providing visitors with interesting guided tours full of new information. There are also many bars and restaurants that make this district a popular place to visit among students.

Another interesting thing you will see on your way through the Sacramento River Parkway Trail is the Railyards urban community with many events that deserve your attention. The district is still developing but now is available for curious visitors.

6. Johnny Cash Trail: A Part of Another Trail

Some cycling trails in Sacramento are so long that they include smaller trails that have separate names. For instance, the Johnny Cash Trail, named after the famous American singer, is a part of the American River bike trail.

The trail was named to honor Cash’s legendary performance in Folsom prison that happened in 1968. The path’s length is only 2,5 miles; it has the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park on one side and Greenback lane on the other.

The name and the story are attached to the trail for a reason: when you drive through it, eventually, you will pass the Folsom prison itself. The road is full of oaks and nice nature views, too. Nowadays, the Folsom city government is developing a project that will have a result in building several statues on the path.

7. Sacramento Northern Bikeway

The length of Sacramento Northern Bikeway is around 12 miles which makes it a beautiful way to spend the day. You will cross the American river through a bridge that is a part of the trail and cross various historical districts. Apart from urban areas, the natural landscapes you will see on the way are also impressive.

The start and ending points of the bikeway are Elverta Road of Rio Linda and C Street located in Sacramento. The trail lies near Dry Creek. Also, the vital fact is that not so many tourists are aware of this path and many locals prefer going to other trails. So, if you are looking for a calm trail where you will not see that many bikers, we strongly recommend you to join the Sacramento Northern Bikeway on a sunny day.

8. The Trail in Tahoe National Forest

As the last option of our rating, we suggest the Tahoe National Forest Pioneer Trail which is a challenge for many bikers all over the world. As it comes from the name, the cycling road is located in the middle of the forest, which makes it a beautiful adventure and a great place to cycle.

It also offers trails of different levels, from moderate to hard, and you can choose whether to cycle for a couple of hours or for more than 10 hours. The longest trip will take around 15 hours, and the total maximum round trip length is 50 miles. Regardless of the time spent on the Pioneer Trail, you will go through the magnificent areas surrounded by mountains and green forests.

So, these were the eight top cycling trails in Sacramento right now, and, as you can see, there are plenty of roads to discover. Every tourist and local will find a perfect place to cycle here, whether they enjoy nature and the views or the urban roads, bridges, and the city. 

Sacramento offers much more than this: there are many small trails you can switch to after you visit our top eight fantastic cycling trails.

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