American River Parkway Professional Review and Guide
"Easy access, dependable flows, and natural surroundings attract thousands to float the American River. Since the California Gold Rush, the American River has been a focal point for navigation, commercial, and recreation activity. Now a recreational river in the National Wild and Scenic River System, the American River Parkway winds through the urban heart of Sacramento. With the urging of the Save the American River Association, Sacramento has acquired a wide riparian corridor protected from development. The corridor provides the multiple functions of flood control, wildlife habitat preservation, and play area for the region’s one million residents. Parks with good facilities line the river. Like Goethe Park, most are named after local personalities. Started in 1896, a paved bicycle trail now extends the full length of the parkway. Boats have a 5-mph speed limit, so the American River is a great place to paddle. Winter stream flows average above 5,000 cfs and are frequently above 15,000 cfs. Summer flows are usually greater than 1,750 cfs. Future flow patterns may change depending on negotiated agreements for future water supply and preservation of the recreation, fishery, wildlife and aesthetic values of the river."