The Sutter Park Experience

Sacramento is rich with history, culture, and activities. We have discussed in the past some of the best places to eat, drink, and hang out, so today we will explore the best outdoor activities within the Greater Sacramento area.


Sacramento is surrounded by great hiking and walking paths. While many people will head up to Lake Tahoe to get mountain hiking, there are several trails much closer to Sacramento that are comparable in their beauty. These are just a few of the local favorites:


Folsom is also a local favorite destination for hiking. Some of the most popular trails include:

  • Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park 
  • Darrington Trail
  • Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail 

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails contains 12 miles of trails and is located just before the Sierra foothills. The trails are full of rich history with the start of the Railroad and being in the heart of the Gold Rush. These paths offer a variety of easy walking to strenuous hiking paths. 

Darrington Trail is a 15.7 mile out and back hiking trail. Also known by the name, Salmon Falls, this trail leads to  the Peninsula Campgrounds. While hiking, many mountain bikers can be seen riding past. 
Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail is the least strenuous of the trails. Stretching 32 miles, access can be gained from 12 different locations including Discovery Park and Sacramento Bar. People can be found walking, biking, inline skating, and running throughout the trails.

Elk Grove

Elk Grove, located only 15 minutes from East Sacramento, offers a variety of nature trails throughout the city and into the countryside, including:

  • Cosumnes River Preserve
  • Elk Grove Creek Trail
  • Laguna Creek Trail 

Cosumnes River Preserve contains many trails spanning both sides of Franklin Boulevard. Some of the most popular include River Walk Trail, Wetlands Walk to Boardwalk Loop, and Wetlands Walk to River Walk Loop. The wetlands are full of vegetation and wildlife. Enjoy a nice stroll with family or an early morning run on any of these trails. 

Elk Grove Creek Trail is divided into two sections, running on both sides of Elk Grove Creek. Totaling 8.6 miles, this trail allows for an easy stroll or other activities such as biking, inline skating, horseback riding, and running. The trail is a mixture of concrete and asphalt providing a great destination for those who don’t want to get their new kicks dusty.

Like Elk Grove Creek Trail, Laguna Creek Trail is a beautiful local trail. Whether running, biking, or walking, this trail can meet everyone’s needs. Observe beautiful scenery while strolling along the creek. If you slow down and watch the water, turtles can be found laying out on the logs.

Water Sports

The Sacramento heat leads many to spend a day in the cool waters of the American River. Locals enjoy floating, white water rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming.  In areas where the water current is slow, people gather for days on the river. A rope swing can also be found at one of the river bends.  With the American River coming down from the Sierras and cutting right into the heart of the city, this natural waterway splits to fill many of the lakes in the area.

If lakes are more your thing, head over to Folsom Recreation Area. Both Lake Natomas and Folsom Lake are body contact water sources allowing for all visitors to take a dip. Folsom Lake offers a wide variety of activities including boating, water-skiing, fishing, and camping. Lake Natomas is suited for non-motorized vehicles such as kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. 

Other Outdoor Activities

Sacramento offers a variety of other outdoor activities as well. Some other activities include:

  • Mountain Biking 
  • Horseback Riding
  • Bouldering
  • Camping
  • And More!

This beautiful area is great for whatever your favorite thing to do is. No matter what you choose in the Greater Sacramento area, make sure to do your research about local guidelines and regulations.

Outdoor Attractions

Not wanting to expend a lot of energy? We totally understand, that is why we also made a list of the top outdoor attractions within the Sacramento area. Download our list today and start exploring.

Thinking about moving to an area that is surrounded by great activities? Check out our available locations at Sutter Park.