The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a promising and relatively recent addition to the Sacramento area’s diverse array of outdoor experiences. The refuge offers a rich mosaic of perennial and seasonal wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, and riparian habitat, attracting hundreds of species of waterfowl and other wildlife. Some local landowners and developers vociferously opposed the establishment of Stone Lakes in 1995 as the nation’s 505th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. As a result, land acquisition to fill out the proposed 18,000-acre refuge has been sporadic, and the refuge has been slow to develop visitor services. A new visitors center, additional trails, and boat access to South Stone Lake are planned for 2009. In the meantime, public access is limited the Wren Wetlands Trail on two weekends a month. Despite this restricted access, you can enjoy sandhill cranes, white pelicans, Canada geese, and many other species of waterfowl and wildlife. This is a nice walk for families with children.
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