Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Trail type
6.70 mi (10.78 km)
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West Sacramento's Barge Canal Trail traces a flat gravel path that parallels the Sacramento River Shipping Channel out and back on an easy hike.

Beginning at a spacious free parking area off of Jefferson Blvd, the trail begins at the put in point of the Sacramento Barge Canal, a popular place for fishing boats and kayaks to enter the water. From here the trail proceeds west, following a paved multi use trail for a short distance until that trail crosses beneath a traffic bridge and turns to gravel. Most of the fishing crowd ends at this point, and the hike heads past some farmland and quickly begins to feel very removed from the city just behind it.

This is trail is a flat and generally easy hike, however during the hot season, there is zero shade along the route which can be a hindrance for hikers. The Sacramento Shipping Channel itself is a manmade waterway dredged out to allow larger ships access to West Sacramento's ports and industrial buildings. However there tends to be less and less traffic in the waterway as the area develops and gentrifies, and it's likely you'll see more paddlers on the water than large boats.

Hikers can keep an eye out for birds that nest and feed along the waterway. We saw some herons during our hike.

The trail follows the bend in the waterway, and newer commercial warehouses and buildings slowly replace the agricultural fields lining the south side of the path. A few spur paths head down to the water's edge, however neither the water nor the dirt banks tend to be very clean or inviting.

Eventually, after just under 3.5 miles, the trail hits a gate, beyond which the path is on private property. This makes an unceremonious endpoint, where hikers and walkers can turn around and retrace their route back toward the parking area.

In all, the Barge Canal Trail isn't particularly scenic, nor very challenging, but it is a good centrally located area to get out, stretch your legs, and check out a different side of the city.

There are no amenities at any point along the hike, and no shade. Hikers should be prepared for an exposed sunny trail.

The parking area closes at dusk.



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



River views. No crowds.


Anticlimactic turnaround point. Industrial buildings line a portion.

Trailhead Elevation

20.00 ft (6.10 m)

Highest point

20.00 ft (6.10 m)


Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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