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American River Bike Trail (Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail)

EASY 160 reviews

American River Bike Trail (Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail) is a 28 mile moderately 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.

Distance: 28.0 miles Elevation Gain: 541 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips

road biking


bird watching


partially paved

rails trails



wild flowers


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 Beals Point. This trail has many entrances from main roads, neighborhoods, parks, lakes and railways.

4 days ago

I didn't ride the whole trail but I really loved what I saw. courteous riders and lots of spots to get off and explore.

4 days ago

This is a great trail, but unfortunately it’s not very safe. Homeless people were emerging from the bushes unexpectedly. It’s a shame.

22 days ago

Stayed at the Westin hotel and started our ride from there. Within a few miles the homeless situation hit head on. Hundreds of homeless and saw two groups smoking crack right in the open on the trail. Not safe for families. Sad to see how California is simply ignoring this issue and it’s made its way to Sacramento.

1 month ago

Heavy bike traffic. Great for trail running. Parts of it are not safe due to homeless camps. Beautiful path.

road biking
1 month ago

Great trail! Lots of shade, hills, clean, well maintained, loved it and will be back!

2 months ago

paddle boarding, nice and calm.

mountain biking
3 months ago

good intro-to-biking trail.

7 months ago

An easy hike next to the American River, which is flowing beautifully this time of the year ( it doesn't hurt that Northern California has received enough rain/water to end our drought ). Also, there are several trails that are made for anyone: Horseback riding, runnning and walking can all be done with this trail. Enjoy!

7 months ago

Great trail for running and cycling. It is my go-to trail in Sacramento.

9 months ago

flat well tended beautiful and fun all year round.

11 months ago

Great running path! It's mostly flat, had bathrooms and water (it's a few miles at least between the bathrooms, but not bad). For a long run I would recommend bringing a water if your own. Nicely shaded which makes it nice even in hotter weather. On Saturdays there's a lot of people on it, which makes me feel safe. I love how long it is! Perfect for those weekend long runs :D I would usually start the trail by Sac State and run up toward Folsom.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

My fiance and I planned to move back to his hometown of Sacramento. I had lived in Ohio all my life, and was pretty scared when I first came to visit Sacramento with him to see where we would live. The first time I felt relief and could envision myself living in Sacramento was when he took me to this trail. Lovely spot, beautiful river, always lots to see. Path is clean and well marked. Just took my parents here when they visited for the first time. Great trail, a must for anyone new to Sac.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

I do not recommend this trail for solo women. I went biking on this trail midday on a weekday. I rode from ~ Del Paso Blvd to ~Capital City freeway and back. Not only were there large groups of transient men congregating both adjacent to and in the middle of the trail, but I was followed on bike by a seemingly well-off guy who I believe was haunting the trail specifically for the purpose of following women. (He was a white male, medium athletic build, mid 30s-early 40s, blue cycling outfit, phone band on left arm, with brown mid length hair.) I successfully got him to stop following me but the trail is so isolated and lined with dense vegetation that anything could have happened without a passerby noticing. I won't be going there again, not alone at least.

road biking
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

great paved trail for road bikes. went 15 miles out, stopped for breakfast and 15 miles back.

Friday, June 22, 2018

This was my favorite running trail when living in Sacramento. You can hop onto it at so many different points, and there were water fountains and bathrooms! Perfect place for long runs during the weekend!

road biking
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Great bike trail mostly along the river. Been way too long on this one.

road biking
Monday, February 12, 2018

I’ve done this ride quite a bit when the weather is decent. I like to start at sac state and head up to the hatchery. If you don’t live close by, I would recommend leaving your car at sac state. The chance of a break in isn’t bad. But remember to pay for day parking. Easier on the weekends when most of the students are off campus. There was a time I was with a group and we used the light rail to get back to sac state. Some of the serious riders can be rude if your just out for a little exercise but many more are happy to wave and say hello! There are great places to stop for some picnic lunches and the views are great if you’re like me and get tired of the city. Some of the trail can flood if we have heavy rain. This year (2017-2018) has been great. If you decide to go in the summer, bring lots of water and reapply your sun screen. There are lots of areas that have no shade from the sun.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Easy trail - not a lot of people . Very pretty

Sunday, July 02, 2017

We started at the east end near Cal Expo. Nice, well maintained trail. This part wasn't particularly scenic (we could only glimpse the river in a couple of spots), and we were mostly in full sun. But it was a great trail to get some miles in off the roads!

road biking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Did 50 miles on my hybrid on a Sunday morning. Not too crowded. Cool views.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Very good

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This is the very best running trail(s) that cut right through the heart of Sacramento following the American River from the confluence at the Sacramento River (Discovery Park) and reaches Folsom in 28+ miles. You will have a well paved asphalt trail used by bikers as well as some sweet dirt trails that get you away from the crowds and into some pretty scenic forested river settings. Tons of different places to start / stop runs so your potential trail possibilities are endless based on how long you plan on running. Perfect for marathon training. Mile markers on asphalt trails. Gets crowded weekends. Light crowds midday weekdays. Check for flooding closures during rainy seasons. NOTE: Vagrancy camps are scattered throughout trails. Be fully aware of your surroundings. Cell service throughout trail.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Very nice ride... but! Flooded and impassible from downtown Sac which forces u to ride on levee trail thru tent city to get back on trail... if u r only riding part of the trail consider starting on the folsom side... otherwise very nice and cool and green this time of year!

road biking
Saturday, March 04, 2017

Really fun! There is a nice river that is not deep unless u go closer to the red bridge. The small bike bridge has shallow water, but the water in the shallow water is really fasts, so don't go too far into the water. Lots of clams to find in the water and some lake creatures like a crab, crayfish and more. Overall, the bike ride was amazing! The activities you can do are swimming, hiking, site seeing, and fishing.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

I particularly like the section near the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Wonderful views of the river. Rich wildlife. Good shared access for walker, biker and equestrian.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The initial entrance was uninviting. However the sound of vehicles, sirens and the like were very quickly replaced with birds chirping, as well as leaves rustling and dropping.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I have literally grown up on this trail. There are several off shoots and unpaved trails for running and even horses as well, especially in the Fair Oaks and Orangevale areas. CAUTION - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR PARKED ON BRIDGE STREET IN FAIR OAKS NEAR THE 20 MILE MARK UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO GET BROKEN INTO

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Nice walk...I only walked about 3 miles but you can definitely walk, run or bike along the trails.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Loved it! Not too crowded, was clean, and easy parking.

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