The American River Parkway is a fully paved, wide, two-lane bike trail with a painted yellow line down the middle. It was planned for bikes from the start; not as an afterthought. The trail crosses only ONE city street for 32 miles (64 up and back!) which is Del Paso Blvd., about 2 miles from Discovery Park start/finish. The bike trail has a shoulder for walking and jogging. If you need to stop, pull over and completely off the paved trail. The elevation gain from historic Old Sacramento to the gold mining foothills of Folsom is gradual, starting at 25′ and ending at about 275′ near Folsom Lake. The bike course is a winding, two-lane bike trail with some rolling hills along a 32 mile stretch of the American River. The bike trail is nestled in a natural setting with woods, streams, ponds, marshes, fields, fauna, and beautiful parks sprinkled along the way. The trail has mile markers, telephone, restroom facilities, picnic tables, bridges, parking access, and ranger facilities along the course. The American River Parkway links adjoining communities whose unique character is enjoyed via bicycle.
Get a better feel for the course by viewing the interactive map of the course. Please keep in mind that all course details are subject to change so stay tuned for the official course details the week prior to October 14, 2012.
Princess Challenge Metric Century( 64 mile) – Start: 8:00 AM
Veteran riders, this one is for you! After winding your way from Discovery Park to the foothills of historic Folsom, a challenge awaits you. As a way to measure your fitness, we have added an optional “Time Your Climb” 3-Mile Time Trial to Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake. The Time Trial is limited to the first 20 riders who check in at the time trial booth just past the Negro Bar Rest Stop in Folsom. Fastest accumulative Team wins the perpetual Princess Trophy. Individual winner receives a $100 Gift Certificate and free entry to next year’s Princess Promenade. You will hit the Time Trial with about 28 miles on your legs before facing short hills of 7-9% grade with some relief and a straightaway before a final 4-5% climb to Beal’s Point. No rest stop at Beal’s Point turnaround. Please return to Negro Bar for rest stop. Recommended for riders above 15mph pace. Plan your return to Discovery Park by NLT 11:30.
Double Di (55 Mile) – Start: 8:00 AM
This beautiful ride winds along the American River and crosses the Hazel Avenue Bridge in view of the salmon fish hatchery, to the turnaround at rest stop #4 located at near mile 28, just past Negro Bar State Park. Enjoy a light lunch and refreshments before returning back to Discovery Park, or watch the Princess Challenge riders depart for their time trial. Recommended for riders above 15mph pace. Plan your return to Discovery Park by NLT 11:30.
Fergie 40 (40 Miles) – Start: 8:00 AM
Travel from Discovery Park, enjoy rest stop #1 at CSUS, then continue on to William Pond Park to rest stop #2 at mile 13. Then onward you go to the turnaround point and water station rest stop #3 at approximately mile 19.5. You’ll see the Sunrise Footbridge over the American River where miners panned for gold at Gold River.
Lady Di (26 mile) – Start: 9:00 AM
Travel from Discovery Park, enjoy rest stop #1 at CSUS, then continue on to William Pond Park to rest stop #2 at mile 13. Enjoy sunning and snacking before traveling back to Discovery Park for your celebratory finish at the Princess Bike Festival.
Princess Grace (15 mile) – Start: 9:00 AM
Travel from Discovery Park to rest stop #1 which is OVER the “mini-Golden Gate Bridge” and all the way down the twisty ramp onto the California State University Sacramento Campus (mile 8 on the bike trail). After enjoying refreshments and an incredible view of the river, return back to Discovery Park for lunch and Festival activities.