With all the talk these days about flood control and the levees, we may overlook the wonderful opportunity our river levees provide for a walk, run or bike ride. In south Sacramento, the trail along the top of the levee offers grand views of the Delta and nearby farmland.
The trail is a section of the American Discovery Trail, a network of cross-country trails that starts on the East Coast. The branch in California enters near Truckee, winds through the Sierra and stretches to Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail network's Web site is www.discoverytrail.org/states/california/ca_info.html .
A section of the trail in south Sacramento goes along the levee on the east side of the Sacramento River and passes through Freeport, Clarksburg, Locke, Walnut Grove and Isleton.
You can easily enjoy this levee trail on your own. There are several public entry points, including Old Sacramento, at the west end of Sutterville Road, and at Garcia Bend Park (on Pocket Road at Windbridge Drive).
However, if you'd like to join a group outing, Stan Jones of Sacramento is to lead a levee walk Sunday. It's a free excursion offered through the Mother Lode chapter of the Sierra Club. Since Jones is not asking for reservations, you can be spontaneous and just show up.
Jones plans a seven-mile round-trip walk with a maximum of 100 feet in elevation gain. Participants will meet at 10 a.m. near the restrooms at the Garcia Bend Park in south Sacramento. There's plenty of parking.
Along the way, Jones plans to talk about the history of the area, growth of the neighborhoods and the little town of Freeport. He expects to take a lunch break near the bridge between the Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course and Freeport.
Jones said he expects his group to see plenty of waterfowl, especially geese, egrets and herons. He said he rarely sees a river otter.
"This is an informal outing," Jones said by phone. He anticipates returning to Garcia Bend by midafternoon.
Sacramento River levee walk
Who: Anyone who wants to enjoy fresh air with a view
When: 10 a.m. Sunday
Where: Starts at Garcia Bend Park, on Pocket Road at Windbridge Drive, and goes to Freeport
Difficulty and distance: Easy seven miles round trip
What to wear/bring: Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes for the gravel surfaces; bring a hat, sunscreen, water and lunch
Note: Heavy rain cancels
Information: (916) 393-5373, (916) 216-0923 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org