When you think of trails in Northern California, you probably think of places like Tahoe, Mount Shasta, Yosemite and the redwoods. But one urban trail is getting national attention recently, and it deserves every bit of it.
USA Today announced its 10 Best Recreational Trails in America in 2021 and the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail in Sacramento made the list. The trail, which zig-zags along the American River for 32 miles from Folsom to Sacramento, is popular for bikers and recreational walkers. Here’s what USA Today said about the trail:
Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail
The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (a.k.a. the American River Bike Trail) is a popular, paved trail in Sacramento for outdoor recreation and also commuting around town. In fact, many residents use this 32-mile trail as their main path for transportation. It’s recognized as one of the nation’s longest, paved bike-specific paths in the nation. The trail will bring you all the way from downtown Sacramento (the Sacramento River) to the city of Folsom (specifically, Folsom Lake).
This trail flies under the radar for NorCal residents, as most trails that are discussed in the area aren’t paved, but the beauty of this trail lies within the unparalleled views of the American River, Lake Natomas and Folsom Lake. Along the trail, you’ll be sure to see rafters, fishermen, hikers and historical markings signifying the Gold Rush era that once dominated the area. Here’s a trail map for anyone unfamiliar with the route:
Here is the full list of trails from USA Today:
- Chuck Huckelberry Loop – Tucson
- Virginia Creeper Trail – Virginia and North Carolina
- Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail – Austin
- Swamp Rabbit Trail – Greenville, South Carolina
- Ke Ala Hele Makalae – Kauai, Hawaii
- Buffalo Bayou – Houston
- Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail – Sacramento
- C&O Canal Towpath – Washington, DC and Maryland
- Great Allegheny Passage – Maryland and Pennsylvania
- Katy Trail – Missouri