Sacramentans cherish the American River Parkway, a shady, 32-mile greenbelt meandering from the Old Sacramento historic district to sprawling Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. This jewel in the crown of the Sacramento County Regional Park System has many access points and offers an unlimited opportunity to stroll and splash with your best friend. First-time visitors can get a feel for the parkway by hiking north from Old Sac for about three-quarters of a mile to the Sacramento River Water Intake Structure, an unexpectedly delightful piece of architecture with public art and a “dancing fountain” that both you and your dog will find highly amusing in summer and probably not functioning in winter.
Enter the parkway upstream at Ancil Hoffman Park or the dog-friendly Nimbus Fish Hatchery to explore woodsy sections of the trail where coyotes, deer and wild turkeys are sometimes spotted. The dog-friendly patio at Karen’s Bakery Café in Old Town Folsom is a great place to fuel up for a parkway hike or chill out at the end of the day.