By John Demas, Demas Legal Group
Sacramento is by and large one of the best biking cities in the state of California, and that is for a variety of reasons, including the expansive amount of local trails and relatively flat terrain. Unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco, you can quickly get deep into nature while largely avoiding any kind of dangerous traffic situations while biking in Sacramento, and still enjoy all of the luxuries of biking in a Metropolitan area as well.
There’s nothing better than ending a long bike ride with an ice cold beer or a relaxing glass of wine, or any kind of treat for that matter. What we’ll be delving into here are not only the best biking trails in Sacramento and where they go within the city, but all of the hidden gems along each trail so you can plan out the exercise cap of your ride properly.
Breweries and Wineries Along Sacramento’s Biking Trails
Granite Bay Trail
This 12-mile trail is located on the western bank of the nearby Folsom Lake, and it is definitely worth the quick drive from downtown Sacramento on I-80 if you have an adequate rack. It’s also not too far from downtown if you choose to ride there. This trail will fully immerse you in a thick, northern California forest with views of the lake for the whole ride.
Just on the other side of Folsom Lake, about a 20-minute ride from the Granite Bay Trail is the Mraz Brewing Company, and it’s a perfect place to ride to after exploring the 12 miles of Granite Bay. With an elaborate display of award-winning Belgium inspired ales and a very homey outdoor eating ambiance you can’t go wrong grabbing your post-workout beers here with your riding mates. Also every Friday they offer a different food truck!
If you aren’t up for riding to the other side of the lake to grab some beers there is another great option right in Granite Bay at Otow Orchard that offers some of the best local fruit in the entire Sacramento-Metro Area. From peaches, plums, persimmons and all sorts of other fruits this is always a great pit stop, especially if you need a little extra energy to finish your ride!
Sacramento River Parkway
This is one of the more iconic biking trails in Sacramento and provides a great nature path along the river for 9.3 miles while also providing stunning views of the downtown skyline. Because this trail hugs I-5 and goes straight through Old Sacramento, there really are an endless amount of fun options to try.
A great option that is fun for the whole family that offers a very educational experience is the California State Railroad Museum. It’s here that you can learn all about the illustrious history of how California first became industrialized, and how Sacramento’s prime, central location lead to it becoming the state capital.
In Old Sacramento there are many fun places to check out, including the Underground Tasting Room located at the Twisted Twig Winery. It’s here that you can experience some of the best wines in Sacramento while also sticking close to the biking trail.
If you aren’t in the mood for drinking along this trail but are still looking to satiate your sweet tooth, there are two really great ice cream options along this trail including the Devil May Care and Sam’s Café Ice Cream Shops.
If you are thinking you just want a cup of coffee or something a little more along the path of least resistance, the Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters is a great place to get a quick snack and drink before heading back out on the trail and finishing up your ride.
The Latino Center of Art and Culture is also along this trail and is a fun option for those who are looking to take a little break from exercising on the bike and exercise their brains a little bit!
This 8.6-mile loop trail is a great place for bikers of all experience levels, and it is located on the northern side of Folsom Lake about a 15-minute drive from downtown Sacramento. The trail is a beautiful forest that takes you through several river crossings and smaller ponds and is one of the coolest trails in the area, especially considering the fact that it’s technically located in Cool, California.
Some of the more prominent sipping locations along this trail include the Cool Beer Werks and the Gold Hill Vineyard & Brewery. Both of these options provide great live music opportunities and fun times, so if you do this loop trail it’s a very quick ride to both of these sipping options.
Clarksburg Branch Line Trail
This biking trail in West Sacramento is rather short at just 3.2 miles long, but it just so happens to offer some of the best breweries and pubs along any of our featured Sacramento trails.
If you bike for about 10 minutes off the trail you can find incredible local breweries like Bike Dog Brewing Company, Yolo Brewing Company and the Jackrabbit Brewing Company. All three of these breweries are considered the best in the West Sacramento area, so when you’ve gone up and back on this trail a few times and are getting tired the short ride to these hidden gems is well worth it!
4-Mile Loop (Downtown)
This is a very popular biking trail in Sacramento and offers great views of the skyline, as well as several city parks. This is a trail that many local cyclists will do over and over again until they’re tired, and it can certainly become a great afternoon workout if you do it about three times.
The very best option to grab a drink at along this trail is the Track 7 Brewing Company. This is one of the best bars in all of Sacramento and offers incredible live music events on a regular basis and a really fun outdoor area that has made it an iconic sipping spot amongst the locals.
McKinley Park (Downtown)
Given that this park loop trail is only 1.6 miles long, there are limited options for cyclists here, but it is in the heart of downtown and also very close to the 4-Mile Loop trail.
One of the most beautiful attractions in McKinley Park is the McKinley Rose Garden, and many times cyclists will ride along the nearby 4-Mile Loop Trail, or other nearby trails, to McKinley Park just to check out the beautiful flowers in the garden.
Just about a 10-minute ride from the park is another legendary hidden gem in the Twelve Rounds Brewing Company, which is one of the more popular breweries in east Sacramento. The Der Biergarten is also just a five-minute ride from the park and is one of the only authentic, German beer gardens in the city.
This 2.9-mile trail in the heart of the city definitely isn’t the most natural biking trail in Sacramento, but it is very convenient for anyone who lives in the area and wants to get in a solid ride without having to deal too much with traffic. It’s a great loop that many cyclists do several times before calling it quits and grabbing a well-deserved treat.
Some of the hidden sipping gems in Midtown include Rubicon Brewing, Fieldwork Brewing Co, Old Soul Coffee, Big Stump Brewing, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates and The Waterboy.
No matter what it is you’re looking for Midtown has you covered, and just like all of Sacramento the beer and wine is absolutely fantastic, so get out there and get your sweat on and treat yourself afterwards to some of these great hidden gems!
Get your interactive Sacramento Trail Guide here