The River Bend Park Riverside Loop is a beautiful park trail that runs along the American River. It has several paved and unpaved biking and hiking trail options. Besides biking, the loop trail is popular for horseback riding and fishing. It is gentle enough for beginners looking to horn their cycling skills and has plenty of features that offer an easy riding experience. It is better than the famous American River trail if you hate overcrowded bike paths.
The River Bend Park Riverside Loop is a 3.9-mile trail paralleling the great American River. You can access it from either of the two designated entry points at the paved parking lot off of Rod Beaudry Road at the trail’s south end. You have to pay parking fees at the parking lot. The trail has paved asphalt sections and packed dirt/grass sections. It is multi-use and at least two to five feet wide.
The trail is rated 5% gentle and flat with few uphill sections about 0.9 miles from the trailhead if you cycle clockwise. The trail is generally safe for all road bikes, including the uneven, unpaved sections. If your bike does not have all-terrain tires, avoid the unpaved sections.
The trail’s most accessible section is paved and runs for up to 2 miles alongside the American River trail. We found the first sections a bit confusing as they had thick thorn bushes and led to a homeless camp. The section near the homeless camps has a weird smell. Moreover, many of the off-trail nature paths are unmarked. On the bright side, the paved sections of the trail are clearly marked and easy to follow.
The entire biking River Bend Park Riverside Loop trail has benches and picnic tables for resting. You can combine biking with a picnic session to sit and take in the trail’s natural beauty.
The River Bend Park Riverside Loop offers great views, wildlife, and wildflowers. The trail is incredibly tranquil, especially on weekdays. Weekends are busier and more crowded with noise.
The trail connects to Hagan Park via a small bridge. You can stop at the park after the ride for a rest and to get lost in nature, which is more rewarding when the season is luscious green.
If you are lucky, you may spot ducks, wild turkeys, and black butterflies on the trail. You will also enjoy scenic river views from the trail. During the rainy season, the river is higher, and the view is ten times better than when it is low.