|After the H Street Bridge, the American River speeds up in spots before turning west.|
The Lower American River has something for everyone. The recreational waterway meanders through the heart of Sacramento, Ca. The American River Parkway as it is called is a paddler's delight. Easy access, reliable flows, and a good view of nature even in this urban setting of the parkway. There is a good mix of fast moving currents, along with some slow and lazy tranquil water around each bend.
I met up with seven Sacramento Paddle Pushers for a weekend outing on the river. We pushed off at the popular Howe Avenue Access area. Going down the river at the start, we first encountered the Howe Avenue Bridge followed by the city's water treatment facility. Before long we cross under the Guy West Pedestrian Bridge at the Sacramento State campus. If we were to keep going from here all the way to the confluence with the Sacramento River we pass under another 8 bridges. They are the only real way, we can tell that we are paddling through a city. The banks of the river are lined with trees and nature is in abundance. We see turtles and different types of aquatic birds along the way. It is hard to think, that we are in the middle of Sacramento.
Just past the H Street bridge, a series fast moving water appears running through the gravel bars. This is our turning around point for today. We will have to push our kayaks past some ripples on our way back. Once past them, it is an easy paddle back toward Howe Avenue.