Outdoor Recreation

American River Bike Trail – The American River Bike Trail (also known as Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail) is a paved surface that runs between the confluence of the Sacramento River with the American River, from Sacramento, CA, to Folsom Lake, located near the City of Folsom, CA.

The trail is approximately 32 miles long, and is used as a major recreational destination, as well as a commuter artery for cyclists. The trail is considered one of the longest paved purpose-built bike trails in the country. With heavy recreational use during the spring, summer and fall seasons, the American River Bike Trail is a favorite bike trail traveled by many local residents as well as visiting bicycle enthusiasts.


CSUS Aquatic Center – The center was established to augment the academic curriculum at Sacramento State. The Aquatic Center is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Sac State as well as the general public. All students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Sac State receive a discount with their Sac State identification card. Our facility occupies eight acres of land and is one of the finest in the state. Features include: beach area, picnic tables, barbeques, four docks, classrooms, and convenient parking.

The Aquatic Center is a regional boating instruction safety center as part of a program funded by the California Department of Boating and Waterways. The Department of Boating and Waterways funds boating facilities, boating safety education, and supports boating law enforcement in California. A portion of the equipment at the center is provided by the department to enhance boating safety education in California.


Effie Yeaw Nature Center – The Nature Center is a  77-acre environmental and cultural education center located within the beautiful American River Parkway.  Meander through the woodlands along the American River, see deer, coyotes, migratory songbirds, raptors and wild turkeys as you explore the preserve’s lush oak woodlands. 

A variety of fun activities are available for children and adults including educational programs and tours for schools and other groups.  Come to the Center and visit our nationally traveled interactive exhibits and attend our many educational workshops.  Join us for a guided nature walk.  Visitors can see live non-releasable wild animals, browse our Discovery Shop for books, toys and unique gifts, and tour the replica Maidu Indian summer village.


Fairytale Town – a 2.5-acre children’s play park and outdoor children’s museum that brings fairytales and nursery rhymes to life!  Over 25 bright and colorful play sets and a friendly menagerie of animals from the pages of favorite children’s stories, children can meet Peter Rabbit at Mr. McGregor’s Garden and see the sheep that Mary brought to school one day. Small gardeners can help water seasonal vegetable beds and seek out a sprouting alphabet of exotic plants. Small adventurers can join Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest’s extensive play fort. Children can go down Jack’s Beanstalk, ride in Cinderella’s carriage, and burn off extra energy walking on The Crooked Mile.


Folsom Lake State Recreation Area – Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, the lake and recreation area offers opportunities for hiking, biking, running, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, water-skiing and boating. Fishing offers trout, catfish, big and small mouth bass or perch. Visitors can also see the Folsom Powerhouse (once called “the greatest operative electrical plant on the American continent”), which from 1885 to 1952 produced 11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento residents. For cyclists, there is a 32-mile long bicycle path that connects Folsom Lake with many Sacramento County parks before reaching Old Sacramento. The park also includes Lake Natoma, downstream from Folsom Lake, which is popular for crew races, sailing, kayaking and other aquatic sports.


Folsom Zoo Sanctuary – Unlike other zoos, you won’t necessarily see elephants and giraffes- however, you will get the opportunity to see “up close and personal” some species of animals that you may possibly (if you were unlucky) to run into on a camping trip in the High Sierras. We viewed and learned about different species of wolves, eagles, bears and coyotes. We had a chance to see bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, deer, and many other wildlife that you don’t’ get to see everyday.

You can also ride the Folsom Valley Railway (a mini-steam engine) located outside of the park – a favorite for kids of all ages!  And with a short walk over to Lions Park for some playtime, you can have a fun filled and educational day at the Folsom Zoo.


Funderland Amusement Park – Funderland is a small-scale, old-fashioned amusement park and is perfect for children ages 2 to 12. There are nine child sized rides including the Dragon Roller Coaster, Funderland Train, Antique Carousel, Log Flume Ride, Backroads Buggies, Spinning Teacup Ride, Oscar the Fish, the Red Baron Plane Ride, and our Wild Stagecoach Ride.  Admission to Funderland is always FREE, and each ride only requires 1 ticket per person.


Gibson Ranch Park – Gibson Ranch offers many outdoors activities that are great for kids and families.  Visitors will enjoy a stocked lake for fishing, farm animals, a picnic area, playground, horseback riding including trail rides, horse camps and lessons, birthday paties and a Civil War re-enactment. 


Raging Waters – Raging Waters Sacramento features more than 25 exhilarating water attractions, slides, crystal clear pools and fun-filled activities for children and adults of all ages. Thrill slides include favorites such as, Splashdown, Hurricane, Cliffhanger Speed Slides, Breaker Beach Wave Pool and the Shark Attack Waterslide complex. Those park goers in the mood for more chill than thrills can cool out in the tranquil waters of the Calypso Cooler Lazy River or frolic in Hooks Lagoon, a 5-story water kingdom with water slides, secret tubes and hundreds of water activities.  The Park is located at Cal Expo off of Capital City Freeway at Exposition Boulevard.


Sacramento River at Discovery Park – Discovery Park is a 160 acre park that is located at the center of Sacramento, where the American and Sacramento rivers meet. The boat launch allows boaters access to both the American and Sacramento rivers. Has bike trials, reservable picnic areas, and a playground. The park is open year round from sunrise to sunset. Parking fees are collected 365 days a year.


Sacramento Zoo – Open since 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is home to over 140 native, exotic and endangered species and is one of over 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Located near the corner of Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road in Land Park, the Zoo is wholly managed by the non-profit Sacramento Zoological Society and provides an educational and recreational resource to the Sacramento Region.


Scandia Family Fun Center – hours of family fun include miniature golfing, bumber boats, car racing, baseball cages, video arcade and snack bar.


Yolo Wildlife Area – The 16,000-acre Yolo Wildlife Area is one of the largest public/private restoration projects with 3,700-acres of land in the Yolo Bypass floodway restored to wetlands and other associated habitats, with more restoration in the works. 

Covering 25 square miles and home to nearly 200 species of birds, the Wildlife Area is located in the heart of one of the country’s richest agricultural areas, alongside one of America’s busiest people throughways I-80, and next to a bustling metropolitan area, Sacramento.


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