Although Sacramento is a large city with plenty of urban activities to keep you busy, there are also opportunities for exercise in the great outdoors. Easy family hiking trails abound both inside the city and on the outskirts, and just about all of them present unique opportunities for wildlife viewing.
American River Parkway Trails
Although the twenty-three mile American River Parkway is usually too long for families to hike at one time, any section of these beautiful hiking trails is worth a look. Take a picnic to the Sacramento Bar area, for example, and hike some of the trails that branch off in all directions.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the American River Parkway, you might want to partner up with another family and take two cars. Park one vehicle at the start of the trail and another at your destination so you don’t have to see the same section twice. This will also prevent little legs from getting too tired.
Beeks Bight Nature Trail
You’ll find lots of easy family hiking trails in the Folsom area, including the Beeks Bight Nature Trail. It’s just over a mile long with low-grade elevation so even the little ones will be able to manage it. It’s extremely popular during the summer months, but visit in early spring or late fall and you’ll have a more tranquil experience.
This is the perfect family hiking trail for photogs, as there are several scenic viewpoints from which to capture images for your scrapbooks. Consider taking along a picnic lunch to enjoy before heading back to civilization.
UC Davis Arboretum Trail
Head west of Sacramento if you want to see one of the prettiest family hiking trails. It’s an extremely easy walk, and you’ll get to see flowers, trees, and other plants that are native to this part of California. The UC Davis Arboretum Trail is a large labyrinth of gardens, and you can explore all of it or merely sections that capture your interest.
Effie Yeaw Natural Area Loop Trail
Carmichael, California, is a relatively short drive from Sacramento, and the Effie Yeaw Natural Area Loop Trail is perfect for families looking for a little exercise in a picturesque setting. Lots of birds make their home here, as well as other animals, such as coyotes and deer. There are several short, low-grade hikes that are perfect for families with young children.
Sacramento City Hiking Trails
If you don’t feel like driving far to get your hiking fix, consider visiting one of Sacramento’s many urban parks. There are plenty of trails to be found within the city limits, and are perfect for those days when you need a dose of nature without a big time commitment.