Meander through riparian thickets that border the Cosumnes River, the last unregulated river flowing from the western Sierra Nevada. The broad, slow waterway nourishes habitat for birds in remarkable number and variety. What does a free-flowing California river look like? The Cosumnes River, essentially unobstructed from its headwaters in the Sierra to where it empties into the Mokelumne River and ultimately the Sacramento River delta, will show you. What thrives in the habitats that surround a free-flowing California river? The Cosumnes will show you that, too— from the sandhill cranes, ancient birds with a 7-foot wingspan that stop here in winter, to the riparian thickets and stands of valley oaks that crowd the riverbanks.
"Meander through riparian thickets that border the Cosumnes River, the largest damfree river in northern California. The broad, slow waterway nourishes habitat for birds in remarkable number and variety." Read more
"Meander through riparian thickets bordering the Cosumnes River, the largest dam-free river in Northern California, which nourishes habitat for resident and migratory birds.
The Cosumnes River, unobstructed from its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada to where it empties into the Mokelumne River (which in turn empties into the Sacramento–San Joaquin River delta), is the only river in the state that looks and acts much as it has for millennia. No dams obstruct its flow and, at least within the Cosumnes River Preserve, no levees corral its floods." Read more
"Come experience California’s great Central Valley as it used to be, a world of magnificent valley oaks flush with wetlands, wildlife, and wildflowers. The Cosumnes River flows through the preserve, the only remaining undammed river in the Central Valley. Migratory sandhill cranes flock here from November through February, for many the highlight of a spectacular birding destination year-round." Read more
"The River and Wetlands walks at the Cosumnes River Preserve showcase the plant and wildlife communities of the largest free-flowing river entering the Great Central Valley. Close to town and accessible to all, these trails offer tranquility, beauty, and a sense of what the area once looked like to settlers. Here, hikers can stroll through a riparian forest, past a fresh water marsh and vernal pools, and along annual grasslands at a leisurely pace." Read more
"The Cosumnes River is one of the few undammed rivers flowing from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Valley. Because its floodplain has been less developed than other valley rivers, the Cosumnes River Preserve provides an important opportunity for naturalists and scientists, as well as the general public, to study and enjoy the Great Valley as it once was. The River Walk Trail visits two rare Great Valley plant communities—riparian forest and freshwater marsh. These highly productive and rich habitats support more than 200 species of birds, including greater sandhill cranes and numerous other waterfowl. Birding and viewing wildlife are particular treats along the River Walk Trail. The preserve currently encompasses about 46,000 acres and is jointly owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ducks Unlimited, California Department of Fish and Game, and other agencies." Read more