American River Bike Trail (Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail)

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American River Parkway

American River Bike Trail (Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail) is a 28 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sacramento, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length28 miElevation gain541 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsRoad bikingWalkingBird watchingrunningPartially pavedRails trailsRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
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Getting There

Jedediah Smith Trail -- also known as the American River Bike Trail -- is a paved, multi-use trail that runs along the American River. This trail is easy, with nice views of the river. It begins at Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento and ends 31 miles away in Beal's Point in Folsom. This trail has many entrances from main roads, neighborhoods, parks, lakes and railways. Accessibility: The trail surface is paved, smooth, and typically at least six feet wide. It is gentle with an estimated average grade of 1% and a max grade of 3%. Most wheelchair/mobility equipment and stroller users will find this trail navigable. There are many dirt spur trails down to the river that may be narrower and steeper. There are wheelchair accessible restrooms along the trail as all restrooms facilities within Sacramento county regional parks are ADA compliant. There is a wheelchair-accessible dock at William B. Pond Recreation Area along the trail.

Many entrances to the park via vehicle are $5 passes. Enforced by the Park Rangers at the first of spring at their booths. There are pay stations when they are not there that you "should" use. There are restrooms, water fountains, and picnic tables in multiple places along the trail.

Sacramento County Regional Parks 4040 Bradshaw Road Sacramento, CA 95827

Multiple routes on to the trail. Google maps, AllTrails, Google Earth, Sacramento Regional Park website, Effie Yeaw Nature Center and a great reference Biking and Hiking The American River Parkway book.

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Reviews (255)
Photos (860)
Recordings (219)
Completed (672)
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Elizabeth Gress
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Walking
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Elizabeth Gress
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Walking
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Luke Salyer
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Road bikingFeeGreat!

When my wife and I moved to Sacramento 3 years ago we decided to get our health in check. We purchased 2 bicycles from the Natomas Bike Shop and started peddling. We started riding the Northern Bike trail & some time later went to explore the American River trail. We parked at Discovery park and took off - and were blown away at how beautiful it was! We spent so much time stopping to capture photos, admire the scenery, stand by the river & more. However, parking at Discovery park became too risky with the people breaking into vehicles and such that we decided to park in Carmichael. We would ride to Discovery and back. We then decided to challenge ourselves by riding to Folsom and explore the Johnny Cash trail. We haven't stopped since! The trail is absolutely beautiful & rewarding. We've lost a combined total of 200+ lbs from riding our bikes and a proper diet and have also made some good friends along the way. We appreciate how well the path is maintained and how much the pedestrians & cyclists respect one another. (Well, for the most part) We absolutely love this trail.

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Patty King
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Hiking

Nice in town walk to sac state, but heavy trafficked.

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Steven Fei
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Road biking
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Destinee Perez
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Hiking
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Gaby Maier
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Hiking

Loved it.We stayed mostly off the bike trail and walked parallel on the food trail. We only encountered a few people there was plenty of bike traffic on the bike trail though. Pleasant walk shade and great views of the river.

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Lauren Chandler
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Hiking

Lots of homeless & stray dogs. Nothing unfriendly, just beware.

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Francisco Vega
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Hiking
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Allan Chu
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Mountain biking

We went on a Saturday and just a perfect day (70’s); not recommended for hot summer days, except for early early mornings. The trail start/end at Discovery park. There are several encampments near the discovery park end. Besides this, the trail is one of the best around the state; it is great for long ride, beautiful scenery, very few crossings (the cars have the stop sign and bikes and walkers have the right of way), the trail for the most part are well kept, some shades along the trail and many parks and stops along the way. We loved to come here except for the summer heat. The trail is flat and have many entry points along the way from adjacent neighborhoods. The path is wide for multiple bikes side by side (2 per each directions) and packed gravel on the sides could be used for hikers or horse riders for almost all of the trail. The scenery riding through the tree line path, winding trail, and the American River next to the trail have to be experienced in person to appreciate the beauty and the enjoyment of riding. We have rode almost all the bike path in the Bay Area that’s within 100 miles and this is our favorite.

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J. Lori
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One of my favorite biking trails in the Sacramento area. Sutter's Landing is a good starting point if you're looking for a long ride, although there will be a gravel path for a couple miles. The trail is paved and very naturey once you get past Cal State, and from there on it gets increasingly lush and well kept. The area from William B. Pond to Folsom Lake is very pretty. This is an ideal trail for a nice long ride!

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Patricia Massari
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Hiking

This is not really a trail..maybe if I went 13-14 miles out into it, the scenery and condition may be different, but all I could see were electrical towers, wires (you can hear them buzzing), buildings, homes, helicopters flying above me and lots of trash. There were some pretty birds out and I saw one squirrel...the All Tralis and Google maps took me to the Convention Center RV Park to park, so maybe not starting at this point on the trail would make it nicer...people were parking there and walking and taking their bikes to the trail. I attemped to go on the non paved trail that is marked, but saw tents and encampments (which I understand people with no homes need a place to be too) about 5-6 feet at most to the left of me on the river, so turned around as I am new to this area and just wasn't sure of the safety as I was hiking/running alone too... I am thankful I was able to run some today, but this place was really sad and disappointing compared to the trails and parks I am used to...

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Denise L
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Road biking
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Huzefa Vohra
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Road bikingGreat!
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Parth Shah
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Road biking
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M P
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Road biking

Very nice trail . Have seen rabbits, deers, quails, snakes and more throughout the trail

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Nancy Paredes
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Hiking

Great hike for a nice run with a beautiful view. Heavily trafficked but there paths for bikers and runners so that’s supper nice and it’s mapped well with arrows even half-life or so .. shaded and nice scenery! Perfect for a picnic after your workout. I started at American river high school, there’s an entrance in the back by the basketball courts ... great for a good outdoor workout and kid friendly

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Luis Cervantes
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Hiking

It is amazing. Nice views and many places to rest or drink water.

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Amy Salyer
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Road bikingGreat!

Beautiful trail for bike rides and walking!

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D M
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Road biking

My first (long distance) ride. Nice, flat path (I did not want anything “hilly” so it was perfect for me). Lots of people. Rode from Discovery Park to the mini Golden Gate look-a-like bridge & back. Mostly straight sun, some shaded spots & picnic tables along the way to take a break! Whew, naptime. Enjoy the ride!

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Julie Stolzman
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Hiking

Great ride. My friend’s gear broke riding up from the Rainbow Bridge into Folsom. A nice man helped get the bike moving and directed us to Mike’s Bikes in Folsom. MB’s got us going within 20 minutes and didn’t charge for the service! Excellent service. I’ll be replacing my bike next summer and Mike’s Bikes has my business.

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Sir Taylor
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Road biking

Excellent road bike trail, well maintained, lots of shade. Plenty of people and wildlife to see. A 60 miles river trail that loops around a lake. This was Chris’ 1st long distance ride with me.

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Alana Fernandez
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WalkingOver grown

I would only recommend as a bike path. I walked my dog along and it was very overgrown and not kept up. A lot of homeless camps and trash. Two very mean stray dogs approached us from a camp by the river. Definitely wouldn’t recommend walking or running it!

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Ben Buor
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Hiking

Beautiful. Do it and stretch before

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Bilegt Baatar
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Mountain biking

Great trail and super close to downtown.

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Marion Williams
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Road biking

I started the trail at Guy West Bridge in East Sacramento. From that point and all the way to Folsom, the trail is amazing. Plenty of river access points, benches to rest, water fountains, restrooms along the trail. Flowers, bees, birds, dragon flies, caterpillars, butterflies, rabbits were abundant. About 80% of the trail is shaded for at least late afternoon to evening rides. Most people will move out of the way and the professional cyclist do zoom right by you like you were nothing lol I can average about 15mph on my fixed gear road bike but those people are truly professional. I cant believe I made it all the way to folsom on my first try but on the way back I was exhausted, so make sure you pace yourself. Great trail!

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Sir Taylor
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Road biking

Catrike Road trip.

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Ashley Moritz
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Hiking

Beautiful views, walked right alongside the river and stopped many times to relax

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Luke Salyer
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I love this trail. Absolutely beautiful scenery for the majority of the ride.

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