, with about 1.4 million people, has the highest population density in California’s 450-mile-long Central Valley
. Its centerpiece is Sacramento
, the state’s capital city, where the most obvious attraction for DogTrekkers is the 32-mile American River Parkway. This shady and beloved greenbelt cradles a multi-use trail that stretches from the Old Sacramento historic district all the way to Folsom Lake. Along the way are parks, picnic areas and beaches. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, an 18,000-acre preserve with 80 miles of dog-friendly trails as well as ample access to the water.
In the southwest portion of the Sacramento County lies the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta, largest estuary on the West Coast. A string of small, dog-friendly towns and marina communities invite exploring in a region widely known for fishing and boating opportunities.
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. more »
American River Bike Trail - Robert Couse-Baker (cc)
Folsom isn’t only a convenient destination for Northern California visitors, it’s also diverse, offering many options for “socially distanced” outdoor recreation. Start by stepping out on a segment of the 32-mile American River Bike Trail, which runs from downtown Sacramento to downtown Folsom. The multi-use path hugs the river of the same name, offering endless opportunities to wander down to the water and let Fido make a splash. more »
Miner's Leap Winery - Photo Credit: @russ_hooper
The San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta is a boater’s paradise that in places feels like anther world. But you don’t need a boat to explore this rich agricultural region marked with old-time lift bridges, small towns and miles of levees that in the id-1800s transformed a once trackless wetland into 55 agricultural islands that still produce food for Northern California (pears and wine grapes are the main crops). Numerous winery tasting rooms have cropped up over the past decade on both sides of the river, all of them dog-friendly. more »
Samuel P Taylor State Park - Photo Credit: @cchellyyy
Let’s say you want to go camping but don’t have hours to spare driving to a remote place. Even if you’re an urban dweller, you don’t have to go far to snag a spot in the woods (although you might have trouble with reservations). Here are some of our favorite campgrounds close to urban centers. more »
Jackrabbit Brewing Company - Photo credit: @brewswithbuster
Sacramento might be situated smack in the middle of the Central Valley, but its location on the Sacramento and American rivers made it a central player in the 1849 Gold Rush, when a waterfront boomtown (now preserved as Old Sacramento) sported saloons aplenty catering to thirsty prospectors headed to and from the Mother Lode. more »