Covering almost 2,000 hectares of untouched forest and water in Sacramento, the American River Parkway is a scenic escape for hiking, fishing, kayaking, biking, and swimming. With an array of picturesque paths and trails, it is considered one of Sacramento's main natural attractions.
A 23-mile stretch of the Lower American River winds through the parkway, providing abundant opportunities for salmon and trout game fishing. Calm parts of the river are ideal for swimming and sunbathing, while other sections are popular for rafting and kayaking. Barbecue areas are also dotted along the river. A hiking and equestrian trail runs the length of the Parkway, crisscrossing the river and leading to a number of quiet swimming and fishing locations. Also meandering through the green natural habitat is a Class 1 bike path, stretching 51 kilometres through pristine forest and grassland.
After slicing through Sacramento, California, the American River meanders east for 32 kilometres to the start of the Parkway. From the city, it's a 30-minute drive to these scenic trails. Mather Field/Mills is the closest railway station to the parkway.
The American River Parkway is operated by a nonprofit foundation and many of the local staff are volunteers. Among the events they organise are regular river cleanups and community walks.