Sacramento Running Routes
Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail
Beginning at Discovery Park near Old Sacramento, the paved trail follows the American River for 32 miles to Folsom Dam. Each mile is marked and water fountains and restrooms are available periodically along the often flat, scenic route. The paved trail is designated as a multi-use trail, meaning it’s also available for cyclists, walkers and inline skaters. Motor vehicles are prohibited. Several shorter, well- traveled routes are ideal as training runs with various point-to-point and out-and-back courses. There is also a parallel dirt trail for much of full route.
Lake Natoma Loop
1901 Hazel Ave.
Gold River, CA 95670
Hours: April 1 to Oct. 15 daily 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Oct. 16 to March 30 daily – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lake Natoma Loop is an extraordinary spot along the American River Bike Trail, just down stream from Folsom Lake. Parking at either the Nimbus Fish Hatchery or the Sacramento State Aquatic Center starts you on your way to a loop around this gem of running grandeur. Rolling through wet lands, valley oaks, river rocks galore and high bluffs above, run around the lake or do an out and back. Find water and bathrooms along the path, with opportunities to take off through the trees for a closer commune with nature.
601 Alhambra Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
Arguably Sacramento’s most well-known park, it features the popular Rose Garden created in 1928, a small manmade pond, baseball fields, tennis courts, swimming pool and library. The decomposed granite trial around the park is about 3/4-miles. The keyhole extension of the loop is approximately 1/4-mile.
Sacramento State University
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
The Guy West Bridge connects the Campus Commons business park area and University Drive to the university. It’s also entry way to the American River Parkway and running levees paralleling both sides of the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. The levees and trail extend north and south and afford many running route configurations.
2107 6th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818
With its proximity to government office buildings, it’s an ideal location for the noontime exercise crowd. The trail around the park is about one mile. The Jogging Center at the park’s pool building is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Showers and dressing rooms are available year-round with purchase of a 20 visit ($35) or summer season ($89) card good for running or swimming.
William Land Park
4000 S. Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
The home to several baseball fields, the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town, a municipal golf course, vast gardens and picnic areas, the paved running trails around three baseball fields in Northern corridor of the park is 1.89 miles. Longer routes around the extended park cover as much as six miles.
Ancil Hoffman Park Trail
6341 Tarshes Drive
Carmichael, CA 95608
The park, dotted with ancient oaks and bordered on two sides by the American River, is home to the renowned Effie Yeaw Nature Center. A small dirt path follows the perimeter of the park and around the back side of the golf course providing a nice 2.84 mile loop.
City of Folsom
50 Natoma St.
Folsom, CA 95630
The city maintains more than 34 miles of paved trail used by cyclists, runners, walkers and nature enthusiasts. Along most of the trails are off-piste areas perfect for a trip through the woods.
5480 Fifth Street
Rockin, CA 95677
Located in central Rocklin, this community park features many major recreative facilities. You’ll find lighted baseball and softball fields, a soccer field, lighted tennis courts, an 18-hole disc golf course, restrooms, a sand volleyball court, a children’s playground, a roller hockey rink, and a skate park.
4771 Sly Park Rd.
Pollock Pines, CA 95726
Price: $10 day-use permit/$120 annually for one vehicle
Hours: October to April daily 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; May to September daily – 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Out of the urban area, into the mountains just a short drive away, runners find the forests around Sly Park Lake, also called Jenkinson Lake, in Pollock Pines. A stunning canopy of pine, fir, cedar and oak trees meanders around this mountain lake. Forest floor creates a runner’s delight for tired legs on this multi-use trail. The 8.5-mile jaunt around the lake is well worth the drive. Pick up a map at the entrance kiosk.