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American River Parkway to reopen Thursday, though several sections remain flooded

Several popular American River Parkway sections flooded after massive January storms

The American River Parkway saw more flooding than it has in over a decade, prompting a rare closure of the 23-mile trail this week. Though much of the trail is slated to reopen Thursday, some of the most popular sections remain under water, includ
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The American River Parkway saw more flooding than it has in over a decade, prompting a rare closure of the 23-mile trail this week. Though much of the trail is slated to reopen Thursday, some of the most popular sections remain under water, includ

Large sections of the American River Parkway and several popular Sacramento County parks are expected to open by 8 a.m. Thursday after days of massive rainfall and heavy releases from reservoirs flooded recreation areas around the region.

Sacramento County Regional Parks announced this afternoon that the parkway is scheduled to reopen, along with River Bend Park, William B. Pond, Sunrise Recreation Area and Sailor Bar. The county is also planning to open Mather Regional Park and Gibson Ranch.

But much of the western half of the parkway, from still-flooded Discovery Park to about Watt Avenue, will remain inaccessible for the time being. Dirt hiking and equestrian trails throughout the parkway also will be closed.

Several sections of the path – formally called the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail – were underwater Wednesday afternoon. A roughly mile-long section between Howe and Watt Avenue was inundated with water and looked like a stream rather than the paved path popular among cyclists and runners. Another section under the Guy West Bridge near Sacramento State at Mile 8 was flooded.

Among the parkway’s biggest draws for river watchers Wednesday was the low footbridge at the Sunrise Recreation Area, which remained underwater as the American River gushed over it.

Spokeswoman Kim Nava urged that any park users exercise caution if they visit the newly opened areas Thursday, looking out for debris such as fallen tree limbs. The county urges people to call 311 to report any hazardous conditions.

The official list of areas expected to open is:

  • American River Parkway
  • Hazel Ave Access
  • Sailor Bar
  • Sunrise Recreation Area
  • Ancil Hoffman Recreation Area (open by 6:00am)
  • River Bend Park
  • William B. Pond Park
  • All pedestrian gates between Watt Ave and Harrington Ave on the north side of the river.
  • Mather Regional Park
  • Gibson Ranch

The official county closure list is as follows:

  • Sarah Court
  • Ambassador access
  • El Manto access
  • Rossmoor access
  • Harrington access
  • Gristmill access
  • Watt Ave. access
  • Howe Ave. access
  • Discovery Park

Kevin Yamamura: 916-326-5548, @kyamamura

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