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Sacramento Northern Bikeway

Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, California

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Sacramento Northern Bikeway

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  • Entrance to the Sacramento Northern Bikeway.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • The bike path travels alongside train tracks and under freeways.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • A friendly reminder regarding the railway near the path.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Wildflowers out in bloom in the spring.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Lush fields and overhanging trees.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • There are many open green fields throughout the ride.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • There can be minor flooding from the American River during winter months.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Bathrooms are placed sporadically along the ride.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Railroad overpass along the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Guy West Bridge leads into California Sacramento State University. You can take this bridge to get back across the river toward East Sacramento.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • The American River flows all the way to the Sacramento River confluence.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Pathway under the Guy West Bridge.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Cherry blossom trees in full effect during the spring.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Wild turkeys frequent the fields along the trail.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • The first American River bridge crossing from the Sacramento Northern Bikeway entrance.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Sunbathing lizard.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • A must-stop to peer at the nearby marshes.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • The deep overgrowth and moist vegetation make it optimal for small amphibians and insect sightings.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Fallen limbs down by the riverside.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
  • Fremont cottonwood tree leaves blowing in the wind.- Sacramento Northern Bikeway
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Lots of rest stops, benches, and water fountains along the trail.
Cons: 
Prone to flooding during winter months.
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Region:
Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking, Horseback
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
15.00 ft (4.57 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Imagine a bike ride along a majestic green river, with lush ravines and overhanging oak trees stretching for sunlight over the water. The American River Parkway is just that to those living in Sacramento and neighboring suburbs.

With multiple access points, both walking and biking, there really is no bad place to enter. This particular entrance starts you off with a delicious tease of a breeze from the nearby Blue Diamond Almond factory, which offers some incentive to return for the ride back.

From there the bike path follows the American River, a 120-mile stretch from the Sierra Nevada to the Sacramento River confluence.

The ride passes through open meadows and cherry blossom trees, which bloom in springtime, and keeps you in stride with a rich variety of wildlife such as blacktail deer, wildcats, wild turkeys, cranes, herons, and much more. Keep your eyes peeled for sunbathing rattlesnakes during the summer months. Just like humans, they need their vitamin D!

Most of the trail’s earliest inhabitants are no longer seen. The Nisenan Native American tribe originally settled in this area approximately 1,500 years before their first contact with European explorers in the late 1500s. Along these rivers they raised families, held village gatherings in earth and tule roof huts, hunted the fields and fished the river’s nooks, all the while trading goods with neighboring tribes. It was their livelihood. Now, the California State Indian Museum and a variety of other local organizations help service and preserve the community and culture of the area's remaining Native American population.

A bike ride along this river ultimately offers its explorers a taste of human history, solitude from the city, and the beginning of a getaway into the Sierra Nevada.

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Nearby Adventures

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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