The American River Trail, also known as Jedediah Smith memorial trail, is one of the most popular bike paths worldwide. The multi-use trail is paved and runs between the American River and the Sacramento River’s confluence. It is popular because it is the longest purpose-built trails in the U.S. It was voted the best bike trail in the country in 2006. It serves up to 5 million people annually as it features various recreational areas as well.
The American River trail parallels the American river from Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento to Beal’s point in Folsom. The 32-mile trail is smoothly paved with asphalt. It is rated easy, thus ideal for all riding skill levels, including beginners and advanced riders looking for a less technical riding experience. You can join the trail from any of the multiple entrances on main roads, railways, parks, lakes, and neighborhoods like:
The most popular access points in the paved parking lot are on the trail’s west end, near Jibboom Street. You can ride as far as you want, as the trail is out-and-back. If you want to get some dirt under your tires, we recommend diverting from the paved path up to the levees along the American River. The route has singletracks but none of them is legal. For this reason, you should minimize or avoid off-pavement adventures whether there are warning signs or not. On the bright side, the trail is very straightforward as it is paved, and you can turn around at any point. Moreover, as it is a paved trail, it is open year-round.
The trail has plenty of amazing features that will enhance your cycling experience. You can combine your riding adventure with other activities like picnicking, eating, shopping, or fishing. The features include:
Besides picnic spots, the trail has plenty of rest stops and drinking fountains.
The American River trail has several interesting sightings between Sacramento and Folsom. Besides biking, the trail is majorly used as a recreational destination because of the beautiful river views. For starters, you can stop to rest at Discovery Park, River Bend Park, or Sutter’s Landing Park. You may also enjoy the stunning views on Guy West Bridge, Folsom Lake, and Lake Natoma.
All the parks on the trail have various animals, including western rattlesnakes, deer, coyotes, and woodpeckers.