Multi-use Trail Rules and Regulations

Every year, millions of people descend on the 32-mile Jedediah​​ Smith Memorial Multi-use Trail along the American River Parkway to bike, jog, walk, skate, or go horse-back riding. Because the trail experiences such a high and varied amount of traffic, there is always the possibility that an accident may occur. It is important that all trail users, regardless of skill level, obey the rules of the multi-use trail to ensure that everyone who visits the trail gets home safe. View and print a copy of the multi-use trail rules.

Bike Riders

  • Pass on the left - Be sure that when you are passing someone on the paved trail, stay on their left side and move to the right after you have passed them. Call out "passing on your left" so you don't startle the person you are passing.
  • Pull completely off the trail if you need to stop - By pulling off the trail, you are less likely to get hit by multi-use trail traffic and cause an accident.
  • Wear a helmet - It's required for children under 18 years of age and it's a good idea for adults as well.
  • Obey all traffic signs - Be sure to yield to traffic signs and follow any detour signs. Make sure you watch for car traffic, particularly where it crosses the multi-use trail.
  • Pay attention when you ride - Don't wear headphones and make sure you keep your eyes on the road to look for potential hazards. Stay in your lane.
  • Ride in single file - Even if you are in a group, riding single-file helps keep the trail clear of congestion and reduces the chances of an accident.
  • The speed limit is 15 mph - The trail is not designed for extreme biking and too much speed can be a hazard to you and those around you.
  • Stay on the paved trail - Bicycles are not allowed on non-paved trails on the Parkway.
  • The trail is best used by experienced riders - While there is no age limit for bike riders, the multi-use trail is probably not the best place for someone to learn how to ride a bike. Children and adults who visit the trail should know how to ride.
  • Riding in the dark - When riding in the dark, bicyclists are required to wear a forward-facing white light that is bright enough to be visible from 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.


  • Use the left shoulder when it is accessible to you - Joggers and walkers should stay on the dirt shoulder off the pavement to minimize the chance of an accident.
  • Stay single file - This reduces the chance of people straying onto the paved trail and potentially being involved in an accident. If you want to walk with a group of people, it is recommended that you either walk along the levee or move away from the bike trail.
  • Keep your dog on a short leash - Dogs are not allowed to be off-leash within the American River Parkway. The maximum length of a leash is six feet.  This includes retractable leads. 

Other Parkway Traffic

  • Equestrians - Horses are only allowed on the horse trails. Be sure to let people know when it is safe to pass your horse when you encounter others. It is recommended that equestrians wear helmets and only use the trails during the day to avoid potential hazards or obstacles that may be hidden from view in the dark.
  • Skaters - Both roller skating and rollerblading are permitted on the trail, and all skaters must obey the same rules as bicyclists. Skateboards are not permitted on the Parkway.
  • No motorized traffic - No motorized traffic is permitted on the trail.

If you have an emergency while on the multi-use trail, you can find an emergency call box to call for help. Be sure to let them know your location on the trail by reading the closest mile marker to you and reporting it to emergency personnel. Contact Park Ranger Dispatch at 916-875-PARK (7275) to request assistance. If you are within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, you may contact the State Park Rangers at 916-988-7322 to report an emergency.