Finally we have a fantastic place to ride our bikes! The bikes have seen plenty of countryside but from the backside of the RV. Now we are going to put our backsides on the seats and hit the Sacramento River Trail in Redding, CA. It just so happens to be conveniently located out the back gates of the Redding Elks Lodge where we are staying. Across the sprawling back lawn and through the gate of the Elks Lodge is the 12.25 mile Sacramento River Trail. Jump on and bike the trail with us!
We waited for a break in the rain to unleash the bikes, dry off the seats and ride off in the direction of the Sundial Bridge. Little did we know how great the trail was going to be. We thought the bridge was the destination while all along the path fascinating things appeared to entertain us. Just like in life, it’snot just the destination. 🙂 The back lawn of the Redding Elks Lodge rolls right down to a gate that opens up onto the trail if we had wanted to walk it also.
You can hop on the trail from many different locations. We pick it up at the old Diestelhorst Bridge. Completed in 1915 and now used exclusively by bicyclists and pedestrians, it was originally the first bridge across the Sacramento River built for automobiles.
There is a dam located near Caldwell Park with a concrete path that leads to a viewing area with windows into the water. The river supports four runs of Chinook salmon. You can see the Chinook salmon flow over the falls during certain times of the year. Even if there are no fish to view, the falls are pretty cool too!
We were just in time to catch the train going over the bridge at the boat launch! Non stop fun along this path!
Further down the path you come to Turtle Bay with a few turtles on a log. It’s not sunny enough to bring them out in full force. Pond turtles spend a lot of time under water and they hibernate during the winter months. The western pond turtle is the only native turtle in this area. Once found as far north as Washington State and as far south as Baja California.
Throughout the park are bronze statues, benches built in tribute to loved ones and iron art works. The kids at play is just one of the many statues throughout the river trail. And it’s my favorite one!
One of the many beautiful trees on the river trail path. The whole trail is stunning! Continuing on the path, we come to the lovely McConnell Arboretum, an impressive garden complex surrounded by 200 acres of riparian forest and oak savannah. It features butterfly, children’s, medicinal and Pacific Rim gardens, among others. A paved perimeter trail encircles the scenic property, home to birds, turtles and other wildlife.
The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay crosses the Sacramento River in the heart of Redding, CA. It’s a working sundial and is one of the largest in the world. The sundial shadow traces such a large arc that it can record only four hours a day, from 11am – 3pm. Spectacular! Biking over the glass paneled Sundial Bridge is very cool. Just be careful on a misty day because the glass can be very slippery! The glass panels are illuminated from underneath at night so if you have a chance to see the bridge at dusk or night, it’s a great photo opt!!
As we were considering going into the Turtle Bay Museum, a flash of lightening shot across the sky and loud clap of thunder rolled out behind it. W looked at each other and decided to peddle fast because we had almost 2 miles to ride back to the RV. If it was only rain, we would have ridden through it laughing all the way. But lightening is a different story. We peddled fast, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! As we approach our home on wheels, the rain drops started to fall faster and bigger. We jumped of the bikes, locked them to the back of the RV and ran inside. We were only inside our cozy nest for about 15 seconds before the rain came pounding down and the lighting pierced the sky! We had timed our weather window perfectly! A mostly dry ride with an exhilarating ending!