American River Bend Park

Easy to Locate?

Dog-Friendly?

Easy to Walk?

FREE?

Adequate Parking?

Restroom Facilities?

Yes

Yes Yes $6 or annual pass Yes Yes

NOTE!  The Chubby Woman leads “crawls” (very slow, photo-friendly walks) through this park several times a year.  If you’d like to go on a walk, contact The Chubby Woman.

These are images I’ve taken on walks through the riparian habitat along the American River, mostly in the American River Bend Park region in Sacramento County, California.  The photos span several seasons.  I love the region so much that I purchase a yearly pass every year, so I can access it as often as I want.

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Walkers can enjoy this dog-friendly and horse-friendly park year round.  Paths and roads can get a little “lumpy” in the wet season, so walk and drive carefully.  Some of the trails prohibit bikers, so those of us who walk don’t have to deal with “traffic”.  You can take the trails that go through the riparian areas (my favorite) and give you some great views of the American River along the way, or you can take trails into the oak forest/chaparral areas.

Regular “guests” include deer, wild turkeys, ducks, geese, egrets and herons, Western Blue Birds, Acorn Woodpeckers, Tree Swallows, hawks and vultures, jack rabbits, moles, snakes, foxes and coyotes… so keep your camera primed at all times.  You never know what you’ll encounter.

In the winter months you can get photos of a large variety of mushrooms and fungi (in colors ranging from white to yellow, to brown, to red, purple and even black), and can also get some photos of ice (in the early morning hours), fog and heavy dew.

To get to the American River Bend Park from Sacramento:

Map to the American River Bend Park
Thank you to Google Maps for this image

Take Highway 50 East to the Bradshaw Road (Exit 13).  The off-ramp will split into 4 lanes; 2 going left and 2 going right.  You’ll want to get into the right-most left turn lane.

Turn LEFT onto Bradshaw, and stay in the right-most lane.  Take Bradshaw to Folsom Blvd.

Turn RIGHT onto Folsom Blvd. On Folsom Blvd. get into the left-most lane.

Take Folsom Blvd. past light light at Horn, to Rod Beaudry Drive.

Turn LEFT onto Rod Beaudry Drive.  This is a residential area, so you’ll have to slow down to 25 MPH.  The road empties right into the main entrance of the park.

There is a nominal entrance fee to get into the park.  If a Ranger isn’t present, there is a drop-box just inside the entrance with envelopes to pay the fee.  ((I purchase a year-round pass, so I can go there as often as I like.  Passes can be purchased at the American River Parkway Foundation website.))

The River Bend Park is a riparian- and oak-forest  area with lots of nature trails and some overnight camping areas.  It’s also buttressed by paved bike paths, and is adjacent to the  William B. Pond Recreation Area (which has manicured lawns, large picnic areas, and a large pond for viewing local aquatic birds.)  The two areas are joined by a long bridge which gives you some great views of the American River.