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Guide to Antelope, CA Parks and Outdoor Recreation

A sunset, aerial view of Lake Tahoe in Tahoe National Forest, a nature area near antelope, CA.

Parks are part of what make Antelope, CA great. Here, we live surrounded by trees, green space, and the natural parks that make California known for outdoor recreation.

At The Arbors, it’s easy to get out and explore the natural world, so we’ve gotten to know the area a bit. Here’s our guide to our favorite spots for enjoying the California lifestyle in Antelope. Check out our guide to Antelope, CA transportation if you want to learn how to get to these parks.

Community Parks

Community parks are those parks integrated into our neighborhoods — where you go on the evening walk with the family, or to take your child to play on the playground after school.

Antelope Community Park

Known as “The Park of Dreams”, this popular community park is 41 acres of green space with various sports fields — including tennis courts — 3 pools, picnic areas with BBQ grills, walkways and trails, and a water park.

Just a six minute drive from The Arbors, this place provides year-round fun for the family and a space to just relax and look at the trees.

Sierra Creek Park

Sierra Creek Park is a less developed area with 6.5 acres of natural, open space to explore. It’s a great spot for a more meditative walk and connection with nature.

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach is our favorite local open secret. This shoreline on the river is a great place to jump in the water and play, especially during the hottest summer months. It’s also a great place to fish. It’s important to note that this waterway is not supervised, so swimmers should take safety practices into account.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs are a great asset of California, and we have many nearby to enjoy for peaceful restoration, health, and also just keeping warm on cold days.

Wilbur Springs

A naturally occurring historic hot spring, these springs are just an hour and a half away from The Arbors. There is a wellness resort and retreat attached, but it’s easy to do a day visit to enjoy the mineral benefits of the hot springs. This area is off the grid, so you will be able to detach from your phone for maximum relaxation.

Grover Hot Springs State Park

This large state park has a pool complex fed by the hot springs of the great basin. The pools have developed beautiful mineral deposits from the hot springs. Less than a three hour drive, these springs are an incredible destination day trip from Antelope, CA. They are also a campground for overnight stays.

For a more complete list, check out our hot springs guide.

State and National Preserves

California has worked hard to preserve natural areas so that citizens can enjoy the wonder of the native landscape for generations to come. Antelope is ideally located to access some of the most beautiful and cherished parks and preserves in North California.

Ancil Hoffman Park (with Effie Yeaw Nature Center)

One of the closest spots to visit a bigger nature area is Ancil Hoffman Park. Less than a half hour away, this park offers picnic areas and hiking along a gorgeous historical river with lots of wildlife.

The park is also home to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, which is an incredible preserve with undisturbed wildlife, hiking, and educational exhibits.

Tahoe National Forest

An incredible and huge forest just over an hour away from Antelope, the Tahoe National Forest offers camping, mountain climbing, and valley hiking, all with some of the most stunning views in California.

Filled with waterfalls, meadows of wildflowers, scenic water features, and canyons, this is the perfect spot to retreat and reconvene with nature. The Pacific Crest Trail cuts through part of the forest, and there’s so much to explore that you can visit again and again and still find new things to do and see.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a bit further to access than the forest, but it’s worth the trip. This lake is a gorgeous area for water recreation and hiking, and it’s also surrounded by a lively culture of dining and activities, including a few casinos. Everything you can imagine, from golf to fishing, can be found here.

Mendocino National Forest

Less than two hours away is yet another national forest and wilderness site with lots of camping and hiking with views to remember forever. There are special lookouts and monuments throughout the forest, as well as some lakes and valleys.

Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve

For a bit of a closer nature experience, Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve is a gorgeous preserve and working cattle farm in Sacramento county with plenty of gorgeous trails to explore.

Historical Areas

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

This park has green space, but it’s less of a nature spot and more of a trip through time located in downtown Sacramento. The historic park features structures dating back to the 1800s and a railroad museum with educational materials about the history of railroad construction in north California.

Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park

This park, also near downtown Sacramento, features a fascinating preserved historical structure and historical reenacting actors.

Outdoor Recreation

Looking for something different? These parks offer particularly unique outdoor recreation activities beyond the usual community park offerings.

River Bend Park

This lovely outdoor area with picnicking and wildlife is along a river that offers rafting experiences. There are also trails for hiking and equestrian trails.

Granite Regional Park

This unique park is named granite for its awesome skate park. The area also offers soccer fields, a dog park, and a wetlands nature area.

Gibson Ranch Regional Park

Gibson Ranch offers a huge equestrian center with trail riding and riding lessons. There are also opportunities to fish and some gorgeous venues for occasions from weddings to birthday parties.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

This parks’ unique activities center on water recreation, including swimming, windsurfing, and boating. The beach area is a great place to relax, and there’s even a historical site to visit.


Jensen Botanical Garden

This garden, the retirement project of Charles C. Jenson after a career as a produce buyer, became so magnificent that a group of citizens worked together to preserve the garden upon his death. It’s also connected to the Sutter-Jensen Community Park.

Maidu Regional Park

This developed community park includes a museum and a historical site, but most notably, there is a veterans memorial rose garden on the property.

If you’re thinking of moving to Antelope, CA or Sacramento, know that if you want to get more in touch with the natural world, you’re making the right choice.