Enjoy the trails, boardwalks, and waterways year round sun up to sun down and stop by the Visitors Center to learn more about the environmental impacts and conservation efforts that have improved the wildlife habitat.
Things To Do in Cosumnes River Preserve
On a single winter day, observers tracked 58,000 birds at the Cosumnes River Preserve. The Preserve is a critical destination on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Throughout the year you’ll find over 250 species of birds on or near the Preserve, including the Swainson hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Red-winged Crows, Canada geese and numerous ducks.
An abundance of wildlife makes the Cosumnes River Preserve a great place for photographers. Natural beauty abounds and the array of species is vast. From playful river otters to chinook salmon, butterflies to sandhill cranes — look closely and you will find a surprise around every trail twist and turn.
Lace up your sneakers and take a hike through the Cosumnes River Preserve with over 4 miles of trails to explore. Wind through lush forests filled with riparian oak, cattails, and vernal pools in a blue oak savanna forging ahead on mostly flat, paved and dirt paths. The trails are open daily from 8am-5pm, including holidays, unless otherwise posted. While hiking be sure to keep an eye out for poison oak- remember the saying “leaves of three, let it be.”
Canoeing or Kayaking
The Cosumnes River is the last free-flowing river from the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Central Valley. Grab your canoe or kayak and paddle through the river’s sloughs for scenic views of the natural waterway. Find the Preserve’s boat launch just southwest of the Visitors center and start exploring on your own. Note: Motorized boats are not allowed to be launched from this area. Also, take caution after rain storms- while the river is mostly flat it can become very fast-flowing with high currents during and after big storms.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do the Sandhill Cranes arrive at the Cosumnes River Preserve?
Sandhill cranes usually begin to arrive around late September. Prime Sandhill Crane viewing season at the Cosumnes River Preserve is between Oct. 15 and March 1.
Are dogs allowed at the Cosumnes River Preserve?
Dogs are not allowed on or off leash at the Cosumnes River Preserve
Is fishing or hunting allowed?
Hunting, fishing, and camping are not allowed at the Preserve. However, with the proper license and during the proper season it is legal to fish or hunt from a boat in the river which is a state navigable waterway.
What should I bring to the Cosumnes River Preserve?
Bring plenty of water (there are no water fountains) as well as insect repellent and sunscreen to protect yourself from the elements. We recommend having your camera ready for all those picture-perfect shots of the beautiful scenery as well as binoculars to get a closer look.
Can I bike through the Cosumnes River Preserve?
Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or other vehicles are not allowed on trails.
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