Discovery Park Nature Trail Loop
This flat 2-mile loop takes about two hours. Exit I-5 at Richards Boulevard and go west to Jiboom Street. Go over the American River into the park. Hang a right to go back under the freeway and into the parking lot. The trail is paved but has dirt offshoots sloping down close to the slough. You’ll see lots of birds and other wildlife plus find wild berries like elder berries, black berries and wild grapes. Just before you return back to the parking lot, come upon a big picnic area with a nearby playground.
Goethe Arborteum Loop
Located at Sacramento State University, this hike winds its way past several exotic trees that grown in northern California. At only half a mile, it’s more of a stroll than a walk. The south end of the trail has shrubs and flowers. Enter the park from J Street and Carlson Drive. There are picnic tables near the entrance so you can sit and eat your lunch and discuss what you’ve seen.
Orangevale Community Park
The entry to the park is on Hazel Avenue about .25 miles south of Oak Park. This is also an easy walk for kids. It’s a mile long and sits on 75 acres in the middle of residential development. Twenty-five acres of the park have been left natural. It features interpretive signs and is accessible to handicapped persons. Several trails lead off to the center of the park into an open area where kids can run around. It also features a vernal pool.
Miller Park Levee Trail
Head west on Broadway in Sacramento and follow the signs to the park. This 1.5 mile loop is located on the banks of the Sacramento River in Miller Park, which is also home to a marina, so especially in the summer months with boaters and jet skiers in the river, there’s lots to talk about. Hang a right from the parking lot and follow the path along the banks of the river. No fishing is allowed along the trail. Swimming too is not permitted because of the fast speed of the water. But it’s a good place to skip rocks. At about the 1/5 mile mark you’ll see paddle-wheelers and a ferry. The trail dead-ends at about the ¾ mile mark.
This walk along Arcade Creek stretches roughly from Garfield Avenue to the American River College campus. It’s two miles long.Negro Bar to Mississippi Bar Trail
This is an eight mile hike, probably a difficult hike for most kids. It’s located in the Folsom Lake Recreation area and stretches from Nimbus Dam on Highway 50 to the Auburn Dam site on the American River.