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Although most area residents (and Google Maps) consider the Lake Natoma Trail part of the American River Bike Trail, it is a separate trail in its own right.
The Lake Natoma Trail dips and dives over many small rises along the southeast side of its namesake lake, curving through large piles of river rock left over from dredging many years ago. You'll find plenty of wildlife, as well as delicious shade from summer's hot weather. Fall's leaves blanket the trail, and winter's rains bring spring's shockingly green grass.
The trail crosses Willow Creek and Alder Creek on wooden-decked bridges, also providing bike and pedestrian access to Folsom Lake State Recreation Area's Willow Creek and Nimbus Flats boat launch areas.
You can park at several small parking lots along Leidesdorff Street, as well as in the parking garage at the corner of Leidesdorff and Reading Streets. It is a short walk down Gold Lake Drive to the beginning of the trail below Lake Natoma Inn, although many prefer to meet the trail from a feeder path starting at the east edge of the north park-and-ride lot on Leidesdorff Street.
You can also join the trail at Willow Creek (vehicle fee to enter) or Nimbus Flats (vehicle fee) or from the Iron Point light rail station (cross Folsom Boulevard to the feeder path and travel either northeast or southwest to join the trail proper).
All tho I only went 6 mile on this trail it was nice and fun, Beautiful view and nice people on the trail.
Hit this trail on a Saturday and started out from the car park at the dam. Our family of four cycled along the trail for just under 4 miles. Great lake views, smooth trail, and polite trail users. Good number of stopping places with lake views. Highly recommend.
We are new to Sacramento and novice bike riders in our late 60's. We have ridden 2 segments of this trail.
The first segment was from Negro Bar (off of Greenback Lane) to the Hazel Blvd. bridge then back to Negro Bar. Total distance was about 10 miles. There are a couple of steep sections (for us) but, in general a very comfortable and visually stunning ride. The bike path is completely paved and wide enough that oncoming traffic is not a concern. Very fun ride!
The second segment was from the Willow Creek Recreation Area parking lot (off of Folsom Blvd.) to about a mile below the Hazel Blvd. bridge then back to Willow Creek. This segment is on the opposite side of the American River and runs parallel to Segment #1. Total distance was about 12 miles. This is a beautiful track, all paved, very comfortable riding and a perfect workout for my wife and I.
I would rate the Willow Creek track one-half star higher than the Negro Bar track in terms of aesthetics and comfort - but both are super! We are now plotting to ride the entire 32 miles of the American River Bike Trail. We are fortunate to live so close to such a wonderful recreation area!
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