For context I started at capital mall Blvd and ran 3 miles north and then back Ina Sunday at 9am.
I really liked the trail and am surprised about the negative reviews from a few years ago. The downside was that for about a mile or less of the trail I was about 100 yards or less from the highway. But other than that the river front run was nice. I saw less than five homeless people or trail side tents so not sure if that is a different area. The road wasn't that congested - never more than 5 people around me and usually at least one person within view (if safety is a concern)
C'mon! It's not that bad. Yes there are homeless people, yes it's kind of dirty. It's a city! Don't go here expecting pristine wilderness, it's a 1000' from downtown. It's a beautiful area connecting discovery park with old sac. It's also quite busy (and safe!) on the weekends in the summer with joggers, bikers, etc.
What Aaron wrote is entirly true, this is a terriable area of the river. You should try further up toward fair oaks or Carmichael. Try the red brdige in old fair oaks. As a local i went there a lot to enjoy the river. It has bike trails that lead all the way to downtown.
I'd give this a negative star rating is that we're an option. The walk could have been ok if it weren't for the dozens and dozens of homeless people camped out at the lake doing drugs and drinking making the place stink. We tried going along side the trail and got a mouth full of exhaust the whole way back. DON'T GO HERE.