I went to university in Chico, California, many years ago. In 2016 I was in the United States to participate in the BP MS150 ride from Houston to Austin. On the way back to Malaysia after the BP MS150, I drove from San Francisco to Chico to visit old friends. My flight into SFO arrived too late in the day for me to drive all the way to Chico that night. So I spent the night in Sacramento.
I had my bicycle with me. So I researched bike rides in the Sacramento area. I found the American River Bike Trail, also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. I had to look up who Jedediah Smith was. He was, among other things, a noted explorer, but his accomplishments were not recognized until 75 years after his death.
The trail runs between Discovery Park in Old Sacramento to the shore of Folsom Lake, 51km / 32mi from end to end.
As the name implies, the trail follows the banks of the American River. It is paved for its entire length, and is complete with mile markers, rest areas, water fountains and emergency telephones.
Much of my ride was through shaded tree-lined pathways like this.
The trail isn’t in wilderness per se, but there is a lot of wildlife about. I saw wild turkeys. And this guy.
At the Folsom Lake end of the trail, where Folsom Lake Crossing meets the Folsom – Auburn Road, there is a little shopping centre. I had a latte and a very nice bagel at the Folsom Grind.
You can walk into Folsom Bike from inside the coffee shop. Very convenient if you need a spare inner tube or an energy bar to go.
Speaking of spare inner tubes, my ride back to Discovery Park was punctuated by a flat tire. I couldn’t fault the scenery around me as I made the repair.
I now know that I stopped at Hagan Community Park. It was so pleasant that after I changed the inner tube I sat for a while and enjoyed the view.
Only for a while though. It was getting warm. I still had 25km / 15.5mi to Discovery Park. And after that, 90 minutes of driving to get to Chico.