Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center

Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center
Address:

Bureau of Land Management Cosumnes River Preserve Galt, CA 95632

Latitude/Longitude:
38.26571389, -121.4392278
Directions:

The Cosumnes River Preserve is approximately 20 miles south of Sacramento. From the city of Sacramento, take Interstate 5 south and exit at Twin Cities Road. Head east on Twin Cities Road to Franklin Boulevard, then turn south. Continue on Franklin Blvd and go past Desmond Road. The Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center is approximately a half mile south along Franklin Blvd on the left (east) side.

AUTO TOURING
DAY USE AREA
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
HIKING
INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
PADDLING
PHOTOGRAPHY
PICNICKING
VISITOR CENTER
WILDLIFE VIEWING

Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY.

The Visitor Center features a 400 square foot deck with permanent interpretive exhibits displayed both inside and outside the building. The Visitor Center deck and outdoor exhibits are open to the public even when the indoor exhibit room closed.

Please Note: Dogs are NOT allowed on or off the leash at the Preserve.

No camping at the Preserve. Day-Use area only. 

For up-to-date info & more, please visit Cosumnes River Preserve homepage at:  www.cosumnes.org

  • General Information Line: (916) 684-2816
  • Staff answer phone calls and emails Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm
  • Email: info@cosumnes.org

Overview

The Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center is the focal point for the majority of public access and education at the Preserve. The deck and outdoor exhibits are open to the public even when the indoor exhibit room is closed to in-person visits. The trails, boardwalks and waterways are the only parts of the Preserve that are open to the general public. These areas are open from sunrise to sunset. The Preserve promotes low impact recreation and offers naturalist-lead activities that include: hikes, bird monitoring, paddles, photography walks and more.

The Cosumnes River Preserve features a dock for you to launch your canoe or kayak from. The river offers excellent flat water allowing for excellent boating opportunities throughout most of the year. Paddlers can enjoy a scenic guide through the rivers sloughs and main channel, cruising along riparian forest, oak woodland and through wetlands teeming with wildlife.

Helpful Links:

DETAILED DIRECTIONS

From Sacramento, take Interstate 5 south, and exit at Twin Cities Road. Head east on Twin Cities Road to Franklin Boulevard, and then turn south. Continue on Franklin Blvd and go past Desmond Road, then proceed two-tenths of a mile to the Willow Slough Nature Trail on the left. The Willow Slough Trail, a three mile loop, is open during daylight hours with parking on the west side of Franklin Blvd. at Lost Slough Boardwalk.

From the Willow Slough Trailhead, you can continue south on the new trail for 0.2 miles to the Lost Slough Wetlands Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is on the right (west) side and continues south to the Visitor Center.  The trail is one mile and is wheelchair accessible. The Lost Slough Wetlands Boardwalk is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center is another four-tenths of a mile south along Franklin Blvd on the left (east) side. The Visitor Center is open and staffed by volunteers on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm,  including holidays.  Open on weekdays, but hours vary.  The Visitor Center deck and outdoor exhibits are open to the public even when the indoor exhibit room is closed.

COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE

The Cosumnes River Preserve is home to California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and is one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. This habitat has been reduced by more than 90% of its historical occurrence in California. The Preserve includes 46,000 acres of central valley grasslands, vernal pools, wetlands and valley oak forests.

The Cosumnes River is the only remaining unregulated (undammed) river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In its lower reaches, it flows through one of the most biologically rich regions in California's Central Valley, before merging with the Mokelumne River to flow into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The Cosumnes River Preserve was created to safeguard much of this unique landscape.

Nestled in the heart of California's Central Valley, The Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Over 250 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve, including the State-listed threatened Swainson hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks.

Visit our "partners" webpage:  www.cosumnes.org

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Visitor Center is open and staffed by volunteers on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm,  including holidays.  Open on weekdays, but hours vary.  The Visitor Center deck and outdoor exhibits are open to the public even when the indoor exhibit room is closed.  This building houses an exhibition room with interpretive displays and operates as an office for staff of the various partners, including the Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, Sacramento Co. Dept. of Regional Parks and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Visitor Activities:
The trails, boardwalks and waterways are the only parts of the Preserve that are open to the general public. These areas are open from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is staffed by volunteers on the weekends and Preserve staff tries to keep it open during the weekdays. The Preserve promotes low impact recreation and offers naturalist-lead activities that include: hikes, bird monitoring, paddles, photography walks and more.

The Preserve’s Wood Duck Program is associated with a statewide effort that has been supported and coordinated by the California Waterfowl Association since 1991, when the California Wood Duck Program first began. An organized group of volunteers monitors, maintains, builds and replaces the 160 Wood Duck boxes located on the Preserve.

Volunteers also take an active role in managing and monitoring bird nest boxes for western blue birds and tree swallows. Nest box monitoring began in 2003 and its 67 boxes are part of a greater project studying tree swallows and their tropical nearest relatives from Alaska to Argentina.

Accessibility:
The Visitor Center and the Lost Slough Wetlands Boardwalk are wheelchair accessible.

Camping and Lodging facilities:
Camping is NOT allowed on the Cosumnes River Preserve. Commercial facilities offer lodging in Sacramento, Galt, and Lodi.

Food and Supplies:
Food and supplies are not available on-site. The nearest sources are in Sacramento, Galt, and Lodi.

First Aid:
No first aid is available on-site. The nearest hospital is located in Sacramento.

NO dogs are allowed:
The mere presence of dogs, and other domestic pets, can create momentary and prolonged disturbances to local wildlife. Dogs are perceived by many animals to be predators. This will cause creatures to alter their behavior and may discourage them from foraging or breeding. This rule is also in place for the safety of you and your pet. There are some animals that are potentially harmful to your dog, like mountain lions and venomous snakes. Pets also attract parasites, like ticks and mosquitoes, and increase the risk of exposure to poison oak.

Additional Information:
The best time to observe waterfowl is during the winter months. Many species of waterfowl spend their winters in the warmer climates that are south of the arctic freeze. Remains of the fall harvest and winter flooding provide ideal habitat for a variety of species that journey along the Pacific Flyway. Waterfowl, cranes, wading birds, and shore birds are seen from October to March; birds of prey from November to April. Songbirds are common in the fall and spring. Small boat access to Lost Slough from Delta Meadows Park.

What to bring:
When visiting the Cosumnes River Preserve, binoculars or cameras are nice things to bring. Also, sun protection, water, a light jacket, snacks and a trash bag. Insect repellent is highly recommended, especially in spring and summer when ticks and mosquitoes are most active.