For our second annual New Year's Day outing, let's head over to Cosumnes River Preserve west of Galt, near I-5 in Sacramento County. Afterwards we'll celebrate the new year by lunching together at Wimpy's Marina on the Delta near Walnut Grove.
Cosumnes River Preserve is one of the few remaining protected riparian forests and freshwater wetlands left in the Great Central Valley. It contains stands of Valley Oaks and cottonwoods that provide shelter for deer, raccoons, river otters, coyotes, bobcats, muskrats and even mink. Throngs of migrating birds arrive here every winter, including waterfowl, sandhill cranes, hawks, ducks, geese and much more.
Wimpy's Marina Restaurant and Bar serves American fare, fish, sandwiches and hot plates at reasonable prices ($8-$12). It is located on Walnut Grove Rd. west of I-5 along the Mokelumne River, about 5 miles from Cosumnes Preserve.
Distance: 4 1/2 miles on flat, easy, intersecting trails.
Elevation: Low! About 10-12' above sea level with no hills.
Difficulty: Easy, slow paced, wildlife watching walk. All beginner hikers welcome!
Exposure: Partly shady, more exposed.
Restrooms: At Visitor Center for preserve.
Dogs: NOT ALLOWED
Fees: None, but donations (in box provided) are welcome for Nature Conservancy.
Suggest bringing binoculars and camera; dress in warm layers; tennis shoes o.k.
Rain CANCELS so let's hope it stays dry for New Year's!
MEET AT 10 a.m. at GAS STATION IN THORTON (see info. above) for 2 mile drive to Cosumnes River Preserve.