Biking in Sacramento and
The American River Bike Trail.
Consider bringing bikes along on your vacation to Sacramento. The area has renowned bike trails and a bike-friendly transit system.
Sacramento is home to one of the premier bike trails in the U.S., the American River Bike Trail. This trail stretches along the American River for 32 miles from Folsom Lake to Old Sacramento. The trail is paved and extremely scenic. You’ll find plenty of vehicle access points with ample parking. Many people park a spare car in Old Sacramento and begin their trek at Folsom Lake so that they don’t have to back track. You can also choose your favorite stretch of the trail and ride the trail a portion at a time. Emergency call boxes line the trail should you need assistance. Restrooms and picnic areas are plentiful.
One of the best parts of the American River Bike Trail is that most of the trail is separated from traffic on the roads. Just a mile or two of this trail shares the road with cars. While you’re riding this trail, you’ll feel as if you’re in the wilderness yet civilization is just over your shoulder. You’ll see ancient oaks and graceful sycamores along with numerous water birds. You can rent bikes in Old Sacramento and enjoy the stretch that begins in Discovery Park. This trail is also known as the Jedediah Smith National Recreation Trail.
The Sacramento suburb of Folsom has an extensive bike trail system and is an extremely bike-friendly community. You’ll find bike trails that traverse foothills, wind along riverways, cross charming bridges and more. These trails are well maintained and separated from the roads and cars. When you ride the bike trails of Folsom, you get away from the cars and out into the countryside. Many workers at companies such as Intel ride their bikes from their Folsom neighborhoods along these lovely trails to work. What better way to start your day?
Sacramento implemented a master bike trails plan in 2004 that is designed to create a seamless regional bike trail system. The goal is to integrate local trails and provide connections between the various cities and towns around Sacramento.
The Regional Transit system in Sacramento embraces bicyclists as well by equipping their buses with bike racks. This bicycle-friendly approach to transit makes riding the trails a viable alternative. Buses and trains have bike racks and the light rail stations even have bike lockers. You can start your day by riding your bike from Old Sacramento and ride as far you wish. When you’re tired, simply hop on a train or bus back to Old Sacramento where your car is parked or to your hotel.
Rails and Trails are multi-purpose bike paths that follow railroad tracks both along abandoned as well as active rail rights-of-ways. The Sacramento Northern Rail Trail takes you through older neighborhoods, the suburbs, and scenic rural farmland north of town. Picnic areas at Rio Vista and Discovery Park make nice rest stops.
Try island hopping in the Delta by riding trails along the levees. These flat, level roads take you through orchards, rivers, farmland and sloughs. You’ll usually have water on at least one side making a scenic ride. You can start at Franklin school and ride as far as you wish going from island to island. If you ride for 37 miles you’ll visit Randall, Sutter and Grand Islands. If you’re up for a 100 mile one-way excursion, you can ride these levee trails all the way to Twitchell Island.
Beautiful trails combined with bicycle-friendly communities make Sacramento a great place to visit on two wheels.