American River Parkway, Sacramento

4.5
#8 of 12 in Parks in Sacramento
The American River is a 120-mile-long river in California that runs from the Sierra Nevada mountain range to its confluence with the Sacramento River in the Sacramento Valley. Via the Sacramento River, it is part of the San Francisco Bay watershed. This river is fed by the melting snowpack of the Sierra Nevada and its many headwaters and tributaries, including the North Fork American River, the Middle Fork American River, and the South Fork American River.The American river is known for the discovery of gold at Coloma in 1848 that started the California Gold Rush and contributed to the initial large-scale settlement of California by European immigrants. Today, the river still has high quality water, and it is the main source of drinking water for Sacramento. This river is dammed extensively for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power. The American River watershed supports Mediterranean, temperate, and montane ecosystems, and it is the home of a diverse array of fish and wildlife.HistoryThe Maidu, Miwok, Nisenan, and Wintun peoples inhabited the American River in Sacramento for at least 5,000 years before Spaniards and Americans settled the region, although human habitation in Northern California is believed to date back as much as 12,000 years. They utilized the vast amount of resources of the American River for shelter, clothes, baskets, and other goods before Europeans arrived in the late 18th century. The Nisenan called the river Kum Mayo, meaning "roundhouse river".
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American River Parkway Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
138 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The parkway is actually called the Jedidiah Smith Parkway, in honor of an early, pre-Gold Rush explorer. It stretches almost 30 miles from Folsom Lake to just south and east of the Old Sacramento junc...  more »
  • We rented bikes and started the American River Parkway. I expect that if we could have made it far enough out it would have gotten better but the extreme poverty / homlessness of the area made it feel...  more »
  • Very expansive environment to recreate. Lots of grass for the kids to run and play. Boat dock is fun to watch with peoples coming and going. The river is very beautiful.  more »
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