California is surrounded by excellent hiking paths and exploration opportunities. From Sacramento, the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail goes beside the American River for 32 miles northeast to Folsom Lake and the Sierra Nevada foothills. Within these foothills, less than an hour from the city, areas like Auburn State Recreation Area and Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park provide day walks that showcase the region’s river canyons, historic bridges, and gold-panning opportunities.
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, located nearby, is a hotspot for hiking and multi-use routes such as the Darrington Trail, which is popular with hikers and mountain bikers alike. If you live in California and looking for Walking Paths Near Me then this post will help you.
There are excellent hiking paths in every direction. Within a short drive to the south of the city, sites such as Cosumnes River Preserve and Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge offer a variety of hiking opportunities throughout the year. Additionally, the Bay Area is a two-hour journey from Sacramento, where the summit of Mount Diablo provides spectacular views of the surrounding coastal landscape.
1: The Quarry Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area – North Auburn, California
Auburn State Recreation Area is located forty miles northeast of Sacramento and features a magnificent terrain surrounding the North and Middle Forks of the American River. Over 100 miles of multi-use trails wind through this sprawling recreation area, which also offers white-water rafting, camping, and gold panning.
The Quarry Trail is one of the most accessible routes in the area and maybe the most scenic corridor. It follows the Middle Fork for 5.6 miles at a moderate gradient.
The Quarry Trail, which is popular for equestrian riding and day hiking, has various sidewalks and loops, including connections to the historic Western States Trail. Along the way, at the foreboding called Murderer’s Bar, the powerful rapids of the American River may be seen and heard, and vestiges of the ancient quarry also line the route.
2: Darrington Trail
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area – Folsom, California
The Darrington Trail, located on the South Fork of the American River within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, is popular with both hikers and mountain bikers both. Also known as Salmon Falls, this single-track trail connects the Peninsula Campground to the river arm’s coast.
With uneven terrain and a total elevation increase of fewer than 800 feet, the 8.5-mile track is most difficult at the beginning, with several sheer cliff edges.
From Sacramento, hikers may reach the Darrington Trailhead in about 45 minutes. Due to limited water access on the trail and high heat in the summer, it is vital to pack hydration when planning a trip. The trail is frequently used by hikers and mountain bikers, as are the breathtaking views of the American River Valley.
Numerous additional lakeside hiking paths span the American River’s South Fork, including the Sweetwater Creek Trail on the other side of the Salmon Falls Bridge. Also read Breakfast Near Me.
3: Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail
American River Parkway – Sacramento, California
Between Discovery Park in Sacramento and the Nimbus Dam within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, the American River Parkway follows the American River’s banks. The paved Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail follows the parkway’s whole length and beyond to Beal’s Point, with dozens of access spots lining this protected riparian habitat.
The track is popular with bicyclists, joggers, and anybody using a non-motorized mode of travel, and other dirt hiking trails parallel the 32-mile Jedediah Smith Trail, allowing tourists to venture off the beaten path.
Additionally, the Beal’s Point endpoint provides access to one of the nicest campgrounds in the Sacramento area, and adventurous campers can bike their gear from Sacramento to the Beal’s Point Campground.
Numerous magnificent overlooks dot the trail, notably near the trail’s other reservoir, Lake Natoma, which is located within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The trail is also lined with picnic areas, restrooms, and other public parks.
4: Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park
Pilot Hill, California
Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is about an hour north of Folsom Lake and near the Gold Rush settlement of Coloma. Over 12 miles of trails wind through the rolling woodlands of Cronan Ranch and alongside the meandering waters of the South Fork of the American River. Cronan Ranch’s most popular trailhead is located off Highway 49 and is operated by the Bureau of Land Management.
Cronan Ranch’s trails offer a variety of environments to explore throughout the year, ranging from retiring woodland paths to sunlit routes that climb through the rolling hills. The Dave Moore Nature Area, located east of Cronan Ranch on Highway 49, features a universally accessible trail system. Offering a one-mile loop with a beautiful view of the South Fork, this accessible route was designed to allow everyone to experience the majesty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Also read romantic hotels near me.
5: Independence Trail
South Yuba River State Park – Penn Valley, California
South Yuba River State Park is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, north of Sacramento, along the South Yuba River. Much of South Yuba River State Park is less than a 90-minute drive from Sacramento, providing access to historic mining sites, gold panning opportunities, and various hiking routes that wind through the lush river canyon.
The Independence Trail is one of the area’s most interesting hiking paths since it incorporates wooden flumes that originally channelled water to gold-mining activities in the area.
The Independence Trail is one of the nation’s first certified wheelchair accessible wilderness paths as a result of these retired wooden flumes. Independence Trail West’s wooden planks extend almost two miles above the South Yuba River and provide spectacular views of the canyon.
6: Western States Trail
Squaw valley, California
This natural passage through the Sierra Nevada Mountains was first traveled by indigenous cultures in the region. Later in the 1850s, gold miners walked the path between Nevada and California, and the Western States Trail near Sacramento is now hosting to one of the world’s most difficult ultramarathons.
The Western States Endurance Run, which spans 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn State Recreation Area, also features over 40,000 feet of thigh-busting elevation variation.
The Western States Endurance Run exploits the trans-Sierra segment of the historic Western States Trail, which runs from Salt Lake City to Sacramento. Also read best hikes near me.
7: River Walk Trail
Cosumnes River Preserve – Galt, California
The Cosumnes River Preserve, located 30 miles south of Sacramento, is a recognised wildlife refuge that is home to over 250 species of birds. The looping River Walk Trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore the preserve and see native species. This 3.5-mile path follows elevated levees through riparian environment, making it ideal for family outings.
The Lost Slough Wetlands Walk is another universally accessible one-mile path with several viewing platforms located within the preserve. Also read vegan food near me.
8: Rubicon Trail,
South Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe attracts millions of visitors each year and is just over a two-hour journey from Sacramento. South Lake Tahoe’s resort and campground-dotted shoreline are ideal for weekend getaways and prolonged vacations. There are also numerous hiking paths to explore. The Rubicon Trail, one of the best hiking paths near South Lake Tahoe, connects two of the lake’s most gorgeous state parks.
The Rubicon Trail, which spans just over four miles between D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park, follows this postcard-worthy shoreline on an undulating course with relatively little elevation gain.
The Rubicon Trail may be accessed in any way, and without a shuttle stop, it is a nearly 10-mile out-and-back trip. The vistas are spectacular regardless of whatever direction you take, and parking at either state park is limited, especially on summer weekends.