Bicycle Trail Vacations

California: American River Parkway

Towns
1Sacramento
2Arden
3Rosemont
4Carmichael
5Rancho Cordova
6Fair Oaks
7Orangevale
8Folsom
Click on a town name to find accomodations, restaurants, and bicycle rentals.

Click on a town for a local map Sacramento Arden Rosemont Carmichael Rancho Cordova Fair Oaks Orangevale Folsom
Click on a town for a local map
 
     

www.all-hotels.com

Length: 31 miles, one way
Trail Surface: Asphalt
Suitable for: MTBs, Hybrids, Road bikes
Difficulty: Easy
Families/kids: Yes
Our rating (out of 5): *****
User rating (out of 5): *****   read reviews (3)
Other trail uses: Horses, Hiking, Backpacking
Climbing from from Sacramento to Folsom: Not available
Climbing from from Folsom to Sacramento: Not available
Elevation gain (-loss) from Sacramento to Folsom: Not available

Official sites
American River Parkway Foundation

This is, in our opinion, one of the best bicycle trails in the country! It meanders through scenic state and local parks along the American River from the historic town of Folsom to the city of Sacramento. On any given day recreational riders, commuters, racers, families, and disabled riders can be seen on the trail. One can ride the trail's entire length and only cross one road!

The western section, known as the Jedediah Smith memorial trail extends 21 miles from Sacramento to Orangevale (at Hazel Ave). From there, riders have the choice of staying on the south side of the river, or switching over to the north side to continue for another 10 miles up to Folsom Lake. Both sides of the trail here are equally scenic, but the northern side is quieter. Safe access to both sides of the eastern section (across Hazel Ave.) is provided by an ingenious system so riders never need to go on the road.

There are several pedestrian-only bridges that allow riders access to the quaint towns of Folsom and Fair Oaks, as well as the C.S.U.S. campus. Water fountains, emergency call boxes, and restrooms placed throughout the system make this trail safe and enjoyable for all.

Be sure to stop at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery just west of Hazel Ave. in Orangevale, especially with kids. The best time to see the salmon coming up the fish ladder is in November. Temperatures can be quite hot in the summer months (sometimes over 100 degrees,) so be sure to carry extra water.

The ride up to Folsom Lake is a bit harder than the rest of the trail. There are only a few hills on the entire trail, but most of them are concentrated in the last 3 miles up to the Lake. After riding through the dredge tailings (from old industrial gold operations) west of Folsom, you begin to nudge slightly upward. Then you hit the biggest hill on the trail across the river from Folsom State Prison (don't worry, there is a 30 foot high wall, cliffs, and a river that separate you). If you make it up that hill, you get a reprieve for about a mile. Then, after you pass by Folsom Dam, the road kicks up again. When you get to Folsom Lake, you will have a feeling of accomplishment -- and the knowledge that the way back is all down hill! Actually, the hills are not bad at all. Kids might have some trouble with them, though, so be patient.


Below the bluffs and along the north side of Lake Natoma in Folsom. One of the most scenic sections of the trail.

Moving west past the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.


Sacramento
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Arden
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Rosemont
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Carmichael
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Rancho Cordova
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Fair Oaks
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Orangevale
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
   
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


Folsom
Hotels Bed & Breakfasts

Lake Natoma Inn
702 Gold Lake Drive
Folsom, CA 95630
916.351.1500

 
Restaurants Bicycle Shops/Rentals
   
Campgrounds Other
   

 


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Last modified: January 21, 2005