Being the capital city of the State of California, Sacramento is known for many things – its immense forest cover and rich history. But what most people don’t know is that Sacramento is blessed with some of the best bike paths in the country.
This lively city has biking paths suitable for all types of bikers, and to top it all up, all the paths run through parks with amazing sceneries.
Choosing the perfect biking path in the city can be confusing, as you’re spoilt for choice. Here are some of the best biking spots in Sacramento, California.
Best Bike Paths in Sacramento
1. The Sacramento Northern Bikeway Trail (10 miles)
The Sacramento Northern Bikeway Trail is arguably the best biking trail for amateur bikers in Sacramento. It is paved and has the distinction of being the only bike path in the city that’s almost flat and straight throughout its entire stretch.
The trail runs 10 miles from Rio Linda in Downtown Sacramento to the Elverta Road-Rio Linda Boulevard junction. Biking on the trail has a somewhat eerie (but thrilling) feeling as it follows the abandoned Sacramento Northern Electric Railway which goes through an almost empty neighborhood.
But this shouldn’t worry you, but rather inspire you – particularly, if you’re fond of old architecture and history. Other attractions found along the trail include the Roy Hayer Park, Depot Park, Robla Community Park, Redding Park, and the Rio Linda Central Park.
The trail has several resting spots and restrooms along its span and is pet-friendly. At the end of the trail is the Rio Linda Boulevard – Elverta Road intersection which features a small parking area for your trail bike.
2. The American River Bike Trail (32 miles)
Another excellent bike path in Sacramento is the American River Bike Trail. Known as the Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail (named after Jedidiah Smith, a famous 19th century fur trapper), it is also another amateur-friendly bike trail in California.
The American River Bike Trail starts at Jibboom Street in Discovery Park and runs adjacent to the American River westwards to Beals Point’s at Folsom Lake. Biking on this picturesque trail gives you a front-row seat to an amazing scenery as it passes through Folsom Lake, Lake Natoma, Fair Oaks Walking Bridge, the majestic California State University, Guy West Bridge, William B. Pond Recreation Area, and the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.
The entire span of the trail is paved and has important amenities such as telephones, restrooms, and water fountains. Also, you don’t have to worry about being alone on this trail, as dozens of people use this route on a daily basis for other activities like horse-riding, jogging, and skating.
You can even participate in the popular Eppie’s Great Race Triathlon – an annual event held on the American River Bike Trail.
3. Granite Bay Trail (12 miles)
Are you up for a challenge?
Then you should take up the steep Granite Bay Trail. With an elevation of 114 feet, this is one of the steepest biking trails in Sacramento. The rugged terrain and steepness make this bike path the best spot for mountain biking in the city.
While it’s not a first-hand pick for first-time bikers, you can take your biking skills a notch higher on this trail. Granite Bay Trail has fewer pedestrians and less traffic compared to other bike trails in the city. It, therefore, offers a more tranquil biking experience.
4. Folsom South Canal Trail (15 miles)
Another great biking trail in the city is the Folsom South Canal Trail. The trail gets its name from the Folsom South Canal which runs along it. The trail starts at the Hazel Avenue Bridge near the Nimbus Dam and stretches 15 miles to the end of Folsom South Canal Road.
While riding on Folsom South Canal Trail, you’ll be amazed by the awesome sceneries along the way. At the start of the trail, you’ll see Lake Nathrop and the Nimbus Dam, and from there, you get to take in the beauty of the Folsom South Canal.
After crossing the Douglas Road, the trail heads to the Mather Regional Park and the Mather Lake where even more picturesque views await you.
It’s easy for the views to become a distraction, but who wouldn’t want to enjoy the beautiful environment around them. Just make sure you take a breather at the side of the trail while you adore the views.
Free Training on Urban Biking in Sacramento
If you’re completely green on biking or just want to learn the local cycling rules in Sacramento, then take advantage of the free training being offered by the city of Sacramento.
Enjoy your biking adventure!