Rustic paths lead through a wildlife sanctuary on the banks of the Feather River, where you’ll share the trail with foxes, deer, and an entire Audubon guidebook of birds. Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary protects a long, narrow strip of riparian habitat and oak woodland on the western banks of the Feather River. About 2.5 miles in length, a third of a mile wide, and totaling 430 acres, the ecological preserve is relatively tiny. But with frontage on the river and a wildlife population of amazing variety, it packs a scenic wallop. Since this is an Audubon Society site located on the Pacific Flyway, you would expect to encounter a huge population of both resident and migratory birds. You won’t be disappointed. But the wilderness feel of the place is unexpected. The Feather River is broad and unfettered here, weaving through sandbars and deposits of river rock and skimmed by blinding-white great egrets and clusters of diving ducks. The maples sport leaves of prehistoric size, large enough that you could wear one as a mask, completely hiding your face. Fields of sinuous tule crowd sections of the route and erupt from the trailbeds themselves, a bounty that would have kept local Indians well stocked in materials for basket weaving.
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