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California travel

Consumnes River Preserve: Birds and Sunsets – A Photographer’s Dream!

Located 30 miles south of the city of Sacramento (and just north of the San Joaquin County line), the Consumnes River Preserve is part of a vast network of waterways in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta … and one of my favorite local venues for watching and photographing birds.Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River PreserveThe Preserve’s public areas are open between sunrise and sunset every day of the year. In order to protect the sensitive wetlands, domestic pets and horses are not allowed, bicycles cannot be ridden on the trails, and camping, fires and smoking are prohibited.

The Visitor’s Center houses interpretive displays – placed at eye level for children and wheelchair users – that tell of the natural and cultural history of the area.

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
Inside the Visitor’s Center
Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
One of three accessible restrooms on site

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve

It is also the commencement point for two trails: The Consumnes River Walk and the Lost Slough Wetlands Walk.

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
There’s a slight incline on this bridge, which would require some upper body strength and/or a good friend to push the wheelchair!

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River PreserveThe River Walk is a 3-mile dirt nature trail that is prone to closures during the flood season. Wheelchair users would have a difficult time navigating the uneven terrain of this trail.

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
Consumnes River Walk trail

On the other hand, the one-mile long Lost Slough Wetlands Walk, a paved loop that is completely accessible, allows a wheelchair user to see the terrain and the migratory birds that inhabit the wetlands area.Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River PreserveAnything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
Pedestrian crossing over Franklin Blvd.

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River PreserveThe Preserve has been declared as an area of global significance for birds. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded on the Preserve, including several nesting pairs of Swainson’s hawks, an impressive numbers of greater and lesser Sandhill cranes, Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preservenumerous varieties of geese, tundra swans and “a plethora of ducks.” Blue herons, white egrets, red-winged blackbirds, hummingbirds and many other feathered friends can also be viewed from the Preserve’s trails and boardwalk.

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
Boardwalk (1/2 mile round trip) from main pathway out to a viewing area
Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
You never know what you might find on the side of the walkway …

Also present, although not as readily seen (by me, at least) are river otters, beavers, muskrats, raccoons, black-tailed mule deer, mink and “the rare giant garter snake.” (I am most grateful to have avoided the latter!)

I tend to go to the Preserve in the late afternoon to see the birds and enjoy the sunset. A recent outing with a photography group gave me an opportunity to focus on the wheelchair accessibility of the Preserve. With the exception of the River Walk (as noted above), the Preserve is quite accessible.

While I realize that not everyone enjoys watching and photographing birds, it’s one of my favorite ways to relax and renew my spirit. And the Consumnes River Preserve is a perfect venue for this R&R!

Anything Is Possible Travel - Consumnes River Preserve
Sunset at Consumnes River Preserve (12-31-11)

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, photographer, wedding officiant, blogger. Mother, friend, explorer ... that's just a little about me!

2 replies on “Consumnes River Preserve: Birds and Sunsets – A Photographer’s Dream!”

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