Best Places To Run In Sacramento

November 15, 2010 9:14 AM

File photo of McKinley Park (credit:

The Sacramento area offers some great paved and unpaved running trails that will help get your heart pounding.
jedediah smith trail Best Places To Run In Sacramento

(credit: American River Parkway/

Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail

Beginning at Discovery Park near Old Sacramento, the paved trail follows the American River for 32 miles to Folsom Dam. Each mile is marked and water fountains and restrooms are available periodically along the often flat, scenic route. The paved trail is designated as a multi-use trail, meaning it’s also available for cyclists, walkers and inline skaters. Motor vehicles are prohibited. Several shorter, well- traveled routes are ideal as training runs with various point-to-point and out-and-back courses. There is also a parallel dirt trail for much of full route.

mckinley park Best Places To Run In Sacramento


Mckinley Park

601 Alhambra Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 277-6060

Arguably Sacramento’s most well-known park, it features the popular Rose Garden created in 1928, a small manmade pond, baseball fields, tennis courts, swimming pool and library. The decomposed granite trial around the park is about 3/4-miles. The keyhole extension of the loop is approximately 1/4-mile. Several running groups meet at McKinley Park throughout the week.

sac state Best Places To Run In Sacramento


Sacramento State University

6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 278-6011

The Guy West Bridge connects the Campus Commons business park area and University Drive to the university. It’s also entry way to the American River Parkway and running levees paralleling both sides of the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. The levees and trail extend north and south and afford many running route configurations.

southside park Best Places To Run In Sacramento


Southside Park

2107 6th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 808-2306

With its proximity to government office buildings, it’s an ideal location for the noontime exercise crowd. The trail around the park is about one mile. The Jogging Center at the park’s pool building is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Showers and dressing rooms are available year-round with purchase of a 20 visit ($35) or summer season ($89) card good for running or swimming.

buffalochipsfacebook Best Places To Run In Sacramento

(credit: Buffalo Chips/

Tuesday Night Speed Workouts

251 Commerce Circle
(Near REI and Costco)
Sacramento, CA 95815
Club President: Ed Rudolph, e-mail:

Hosted by the Buffalo Chips Running Club, the area’s oldest running organization, the run totals approximately six miles with a warm-up, varying intervals and a cool down. It’s held every week, excluding major holidays. There is also usually a walking group. Announcements and each week’s workouts are announced at 5:45. p.m. Bring a water bottle. Restrooms are available.

william land park Best Places To Run In Sacramento


William Land Park

4000 S. Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
916) 808-5200

The home to several baseball fields, the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town, a municipal golf course, vast gardens and picnic areas, the paved running trails around three baseball fields in Northern corridor of the park is 1.89 miles. Longer routes around the extended park cover as much as six miles. William Land Park is also home to the Urban Cow Half-Marathon, one of Sacramento biggest running events. It began in the 1970s as the Sacramento Marathon, among the area’s oldest running events.

– James Raia is a freelance journalist living in Sacramento. His work can be found at