Did you just move to Sacramento? Let us remind you that you are now close to some of California’s most beautiful natural sights. Today, we’re featuring some of the best outdoor spots in and around Sacramento, California.
Many people are surprised to discover this beautifully large park hiding within the city of Sacramento. The American River Bike Trail is a great place for cyclists, runners, walkers, and dogs.
Within just a few minutes of leaving your Sacramento home, you can feel like you’re surrounded by nature. Find a shady spot, bring a picnic, and relax by the American River.
Another popular trail on the American River, Hagan Park’s most popular route is a 3-mile hike that talks you along the river. Other features of this park include a petting zoo with bunnies, donkeys, and goats. There’s also a dog park where you can let your dog run off leash.
Located in Roseville, the Dry Creek Trail is 3.4 miles round trip and is perfect for hikers and walkers. The trail is popular for dog walkers and families. You can also shorten the trip to 2 miles round trip by turning back once you get to the Golf Bridge Spur trail, from where you can return to the trail head.
Take in the famous view from the levee at Garcia Bend Park, where you’ll find miles of jogging and walking trails. For the sportier crowd, there are also tennis courts, basketball courts, and volleyball courts. Rent a paddleboat and take it onto the Sacramento River or go fishing and clean your fish at the fish cleaning station.
The William B Bond Recreation Area is in Carmichael and features grills, a picnic area, restrooms, and plenty of nice shady spots. Many running clubs and bikers use these trails, which can get busy during the mornings and early evenings on a sunny day. Expect to see lots of picnics throughout the summer and on nice days.
Popular with local mountain bikers, Granite Bay is one of the closest outdoor trail spots to Sacramento and Roseville. There are just one to two steep sections that you can easily walk over – aside from that, you’ll find this single-track route ideal for beginners.
Meanwhile, expert riders can test their skills by venturing off on side routes filled with rocks and tree stumps that will put your free ride ability to the test. The full route takes about an hour across 6 miles of terrain. You start at Twin Rocks Road and do a complete loop back to the starting area. Total elevation gain is 365 feet.
For a great map of the Granite Bay area and its best trails, visit Sacramento Outdoors here.
On a hot day, consider checking out Stevens Trail in Colfax. This hike takes about 90 minutes to complete the full loop. It’s 4.5 miles one way and 9 miles round trip. Considered an easy hike, there are plenty of offshoots you can take to make the hike more difficult and interesting.
Some hikers will also take an inner tube on this route: the first half of the hike is mostly downhill. With an inner tube, you can take the river to a spot where someone picks you up in a car. It can be a multi-activity day on Stevens Trail and you get to avoid trudging back uphill for the second half of your hike. Everybody wins!
This easy hiking trail takes about two hours when going at an easy pace. Great scenery exists along the way as you wind through the river valley. Its elevation gain is 617 feet. It’s an easy drive–about half an hour away from most parts of Sacramento.
Another popular Auburn trail, this route is a great place for mountain biking. You go up and down throughout the eleven miles of terrain, eventually climbing 1500 feet. Highlights of this route include checking out the third highest bridge in the United States.
Sacramento Outdoors has a good write-up on this trail that you can read here.
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