So, maybe big chainstores and retail shopping isn’t quite your thing, or you have no interest in spending your well earned day off waiting in long lines, or like most of us, maybe you’ve excessively eaten a portion from the day prior and now you really need to partake in at least some form of physical activity to justify all that food. And what better way than to spend that time with man and woman’s best friend, so opt. outside for a day of enjoying your natural surroundings with your trusty trailblazing dog on a beautiful autumn walk along the American River.

When the daytime temperatures start to drop, and most mornings are cold and covered in fog, the leaves are changing colors from green to yellow and then fall piles, and the squirrels are busy stashing their bounties for winter, the river is coming alive! This time of year is always wonderful, as the American River carries water from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, eventually feeding into the Sacramento River and then into San Francisco Bay, several species of salmon make their run upriver from the ocean this special time of year, bringing with them an abundance of wildlife habitants. Year round the Great Blue Heron and Snowy Egret can be spotted fishing along the bramble of the river banks, the clammer of a Belted King Fisher is hard not to hear, and the diversity of waterfowl is only enhanced with the migratory routes of several different species. Families of North American River Otters and be seen fishing and then feasting on salmon easily the size of themselves! And all the way up to the Watt Access, the California Sea Lion can be seen this time of year as they follow the runs of the salmon, fishing for them off the bottom of deep water, before the river warms and they return to the sea before winters end.

Year round the American River can easily be accessed and enjoyed, miles of well maintained trails lead along the South Fork of the American River which can easily be picked up from several different access points near our home, with very little travel time at all for your outdoor day adventure! All river accesses host unique and varying ecosystems, Woodlands of mature trees create a canopy that is enjoyed during the warmer times of year and then equally envied during their stages in autumn host several other species of wildlife, to Grasslands that yield an abundance of Mule Deer as they gather in herds during this time year that are accompanied by only the most impressive bucks, Riparian Forests filled with woodpeckers, California Quail, and several other types of birds of prey. Most access points have a paved parking lot, although some do have fees, an annual pass can be purchased. Several access points have a single paved trail that’s easy to walk, and then host multiple dirt trails off of them that typically lead to different areas of the waters edge, with several sandy beaches that can be found all along the river. So, whether it’s a leisurely Nature Walk, to strenuously Hiking, a Picnic or Fishing, Bicycling, Boating (Kayaking, Paddle boarding, or Rafting), and even Equestrian riding! There is an activity for you and your dog in almost any degree or difficulty along the American River.

With each season hosting a different wonder, whether it’s the wildflowers in the springtime or a summertime paddle down river, from the edge of Sacramento all the way up to the Sierra Nevadas yields an abundance of outdoor activities for you and your dog! So, if you see us outside on a hike, say hi!

Cheers! -Midtown Mutts