Murphy takes a break on the American River - credit: Christine Morris
The American and Sacramento rivers converge at Discovery Park
, just north of downtown Sacramento, and whichever way you trek along the 32-mile, multi-use Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail
(also known as the American River Bike Trail), you’ll enjoy lots of scenery and wildlife. If you’re a first-timer to Sac, we suggest starting out your hike in the Old Sacramento historic district just across Interstate 5 from downtown.
Head north along the banks of the Sacramento River
and pause to watch the birds, look for otters, beavers and maybe even a sea lion that’s chased steelhead up from San Francisco Bay. You’ll cross the I Street Bridge to get to Discovery Park and the confluence. Above the park, the American River is an entirely different animal than the Sacramento. It runs clear and cold, fed by snowmelt rushing down from the Sierra.
Looking for something closer to your dog-friendly hotel or other lodging? William Land Park
, just south of downtown, is a green and lush landmark looped by 2-mile trail. You’ll pass a city-owned golf course, a pair of fishing ponds, two amusement parks and also the Sacramento Zoo, where the roars of lions will arouse your dog’s curiosity, to say the least!