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A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Two people hiking next to a lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Kayaking and paddleboarding at Shasta Lake
Middle McCloud Falls
Kyle Sheppard
A family at Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark in Redding, CA.

7 Accessible Hikes in Redding, CA That Can Be Enjoyed By All Levels

By Redding CVB | 02/12/2020 | Biking, Cultural District, Family Friendly , Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Parks & Gardens, Pet Friendly Activities, Things to See and Do, Top-Sights, Trails

Redding sits in—and is surrounded by—no shortage of natural beauty. The Sacramento River winds through town, Lassen Volcanic National Park looms to the east, and there’s no end of forests, lakes, and mountains nearby. But while there are plenty of challenging hikes in the region to test your limits, you can find lots of relaxing options as well. No matter your level of hiking ability, you can find accessible trails throughout the region that make it easy to see those sights without a demanding, heart-pumping trek. Here’s a rundown of seven accessible trails around Redding that can be enjoyed by hikers of all ages and skills.

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1. Lema Ranch Trails

The Lema Ranch Trails sit just east of Redding and host about four miles of paved paths on roughly 200 scenic acres. The natural beauty includes weeping willows, manzanita, oak, and pine—and Lema Ranch is also a bountiful bird-watching destination, home to red-winged blackbirds, woodpeckers, and other species. The paths were designed with hikers of all abilities in mind. Bicycles are not allowed on the Lema Ranch Trails, and three suggested loops—ranging from 0.75 miles to 2.25 miles—make it easy to find a hike that meets your needs. The trails are mostly flat, but be aware of occasional small rolling hills (especially leading to the Secluded Pond). As if that weren’t enough, the parking lot is paved—and hosts an ADA-compliant bathroom.

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2. Devastated Area Interpretive Trail

See how nature adapted to the Lassen Peak eruptions on the Devastated Area Interpretive Trail.LassenNPS

It turns out, one of the most scenic trails at Lassen Volcanic National Park happens to be accessible to all hikers. The Devastated Area Interpretive Trail is a 0.5-mile round-trip flat, paved trail that passes through multi-hued lava rocks and delivers sweeping views of the east side of Lassen Peak—which makes clear the effects of multiple Lassen Peak eruptions. Along the way, interpretive panels discuss the region's volcanic history—and how it led to this modern landscape. Note that the trail is only accessible from July through late October, due to annual snowfall.

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3. John Reginato River Access

When you need a quick break from big city life, head to the John Reginato River Access trail. The flat, 1.5-mile round-trip trail near the Sacramento River is almost entirely shaded, making it an ideal outing when the weather warms up each summer. The path even includes an ADA-compliant fishing platform and ADA-compliant restrooms. Note that the trail is dirt and can be bumpy—but it is accessible.

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4. Sacramento River National Recreation Trail

The mostly flat, 11-mile Sacramento River National Recreation Trail is paved and features both water fountains and bathrooms along the route.

The Sacramento River National Recreation Trail might be the premier path in and around Redding. The trail is divided into two sections: The Sacramento River Trail crosses the world-famous Sundial Bridge in downtown and delivers seemingly endless views of the Sacramento River. The route passes through lush forests and offers regular opportunities for spotting birds and wildlife. And, best of all, the mostly flat, 11-mile paved trail is accessible to hikers of all abilities. Several parks, bathrooms, and trailheads line the path, making it easy to find a route that lines up with your needs.

For a longer outing, take advantage of the second section of the route: the Sacramento River Rail Trail that extends another 6.4 miles north all the way to Shasta Dam and sits alongside a historic abandoned railway. Keep in mind that the trail is flatter and more accessible on the south side of the river. By contrast, the northern path features a hilly section that might be tough for those in a wheelchair.

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5. Turtle Bay East Trail

Maybe you’re looking for something a bit quicker and closer to town than the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail? Good news: The Turtle Bay East Trail showcases the best of the region without leaving town or demanding much effort. The trail, in the heart of Redding, offers one mile of Sacramento River views and serves as the southern entrance to Sacramento River Trail. The trail passes through parkland that’s home to a variety of wide-open grasslands, as well as redbud, oak, willows, and other native plants. Along the way, you’ll encounter several interpretive panels on native plants, local salmon runs, and other areas of interest. Trail surfaces are a mix of dirt, concrete, and crushed rock at various points, but the park includes a picnic area and paved parking for easy access.

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6. Clover Creek Trail

When the urge to commune with nature strikes, make a beeline for the Clover Creek Trail. The trail includes paved paths on either side of Clover Creek and is part of a larger loop around a retention pond on the greenway. You’ll enjoy views of rolling hills, oak forests, distant mountain peaks, and more. Interpretive panels also offer information on the wetlands along the trail. Keep in mind that the trailhead offers drinking fountains, but no restrooms.

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7. Clear Creek Gorge

Roughly 10 miles southwest of downtown Redding, Clear Creek Gorge makes an ideal destination for viewing migrating Chinook salmon every fall—and it doesn’t demand much effort for enjoying the natural spectacle. The Clear Creek Gorge area offers a few paved (and mostly level) trails, most of which are a few hundred yards long, along with a viewing platform and overlook of Clear Creek Gorge (roughly 50 to 75 feet deep). Note that the trails can be hot in summer, but they generally remain cool and snow-free in winter.

Written by Matt Wastradowski for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

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