If you want to ride your bike in the Sacramento area and see a ridiculous amount of salmon and steelhead visit the American River Parkway (Parkway) and the Nimbus Fish Hatchery November through March. Or visit the Parkway any time of year for a nice walk, hike, bike, or horseback – you name it!
In mid-November we rode around Lake Natoma, a 13-mile loop. The salmon were on a spawning mission! We were early enough in the day to look around the raceways, walk down the fish ladder, and watch the salmon try to swim up river at the weir (fish gate). Wildlife 4-8 was absolutely mesmerized by the mass amounts of salmon.
A week later we road from our friends’ house, picked up the bike trail at River Bend, road up to the hatchery, and back, which ended up as a 24-mile ride. Even though it was only a week later, the amount of salmon was significantly less – still worth a visit though.
Our next plan is to start at Old Town Folsom and ride the Lake Natoma loop then back to Old Town for some food at a local restaurant.
Do you have a favorite route along the Parkway? Recommendations of restaurants in Old Town Folsom?
For a nice hill workout, continue from Rainbow Bridge 3 miles up to Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. There’s a nice restroom with drinking fountains and you can ponder the water level. The great thing about Lake Natoma is that it only fluctuates about 6 feet – every day. But Folsom Lake shows you the reality of our State’s water situation. Also, this route is a lot of fun coming downhill!