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River Trail in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area


The Jedediah Smith wilderness area and bike trail cuts a transverse swath through one of America's major metropolitan areas, within it lies 32 miles of parkway, and is one of Sacramento California's most beautiful attractions. It is also one of the most haunted.

An ancient stave of trees can be not only a site for a lovely riparian picnic, but also a place to hide the darkest of human actions. Conceivably, for every murder in the world that receives full justice, fifteen murders go without justice. Why wouldn't a victim long for justice? As a teenager here, I always knew better than to explore there alone or in darkness. Just too many stories...

It wasn't until I was 25 that I walked there at night. And that was only on the levy that skirted the area, mere feet away from lighted apartments, and in the company of man who would and could protect me.

The specific spot is just a mile of so east of the Watt Avenue bridge on the Rosemont side of the city. My partner was an amazing person, a native American from the Umatilla tribe and part Norwegian. He could literally catch wild animals with his bare hands and was sensitive enough just to pick a spot and pick up native arrowheads in the sand. Just so you know I was in very good hands that night.

My feelings of protection lent me enough energy to admire the sever and wild beauty around me. The moon was close to full and shone lithe on the river, the animals that lived therein were as loud as a garage band on J street, and the trees and brambles hid everyone of them.

Up ahead of us Rob and I noticed a woman walking toward us on the levy. She was alone and seemed to walk confidently and unafraid. Rob and I moved over on the levy path to give her space to pass. The lights of the apartments and the moon reflected off the paleness of her clothes.

Our conversation died away as she came closer and just seemed to fade - leaving behind whiteness, then a pale vapor - then nothing at all. We were so frightened we immediately left the trail and cut back through the apartments to get home, hurrying to get the area out of sight and behind us! Please, don't go there at night, remember that was just on the outskirts of the wilderness, imagine what is in its HEART!

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Athena, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
17 years ago (2007-09-01)
as you said many 'things' happened in this wooded area, there has probaly been left a lot of sadness, yearingin for answers and yearning for justice. Maybe the apparition you saw let itself be know to frighten you ao that other enities may not be disturbed in what they believe to be their place. Inturders had hurt them before, what would stop it from happening again. Maybe 'she' that you saw has taken it upon herself to be the strong one of the group and be a somewhat sentry to the location.

by the way, I certainly under stand what you mean by a totally wooded area with apartements and developments so near. There is actually quite a few of the areas in the midwest and many of them are very dense and very interesting.
Athena (9 stories) (222 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
Hi L85, I sent this true life experience to HPI, a local paranormal investigative team.
looney85 (3 stories) (188 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
hey Athena, your story was very interesting. I would of sh*t my pants if I would of seen that! Have you made any further investigations or have spoken to anyone regarding more incidents deeper into the woods?

take care, NB
Athena (9 stories) (222 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
O' Ok, I think I understand SkA point now! I agree MURDER IS NOT JUSTIFIABLE and I hope you know that is not what I said. I do think though that souls who have not recieved rest, peace, or respect etc, might haunt the living looking for those things. Hope I make sense now.
Athena (9 stories) (222 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
OMG Radio 1, Thank you, and your story terrrified me! Thanks to Bellissima and SKA too! SkA, you know what really sucks about your point? Sadly, almost alway people who are violated (murdered etc) are vulnerable or weaker than the perp. Maddening cowardice! Sounds like my matter of fact appraisal might have upset you. Did it? Believe me, injustice disturbes me and motivates my actions, hopefully to empower the vulnerable in some way.
radio1 (8 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
My sister in-law use to camp out by the levy and she said she saw a lot of crazy things well living out there. She once saw a women dressed in white with long black hair a ghostly old face and a moan that could be heard from miles away. The women did not see her, she wonders sometimes if the women would have seen her what would have happened. My sister in-law said she was just gliding across the levy...
SkAlArIaK (2 stories) (28 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
Uhm, well, about that phrase: "conceivably, for every murder in the world that receives full justice, fifteen murders go without justice..." No murder is justified or fair 😉

Anyway back to what I was saying... If this is in the middle of the woods how come there is apartments? If the woman simply crossed and disappeared, she didn't make any contact with you so therefore wasn't really there to cause any damage, so you need not be worried. 😊
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
17 years ago (2007-08-31)
Athena, that is an interesting story! It sounds like your friend really is in tune with nature. I can't imagine what you might have found if you had ventured further into those woods! I'm glad you didn't! I don't think it sounds like any place I'll be hurrying off to any time soon.

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