Big Sky, Lodi

Visit the Birds of Cosumnes River Preserve in Lodi

It’s a bird, not a plane. In fact, it’s millions of birds in winter, traveling the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south migration route that includes a stop at the Cosumnes River Preserve just north of Lodi.

This place is a wetlands haven for over 200 species of winged travelers, including a marquee draw of the sandhill crane. The big, long-legged sandhill is a darling of the bird world, with its elegant gray body, bright red forehead, and sleek black bill.

Cosumnes River Preserve just north of Lodi

But there’s a lot more to see, too, including geese, ducks (including the coveted cinnamon teals)—basically, it’s a fabulous feather-fest of waterfowl, shorebirds, and more.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Bonus: Sunrise here is simply amazing, thanks to the great big sky (sorry, Montana!). Stop in at the visitor center and do the easy 1-mile Wetlands Walk to the west side of the preserve (there’s a half-mile boardwalk to a viewing platform).

Bonus Wine:Pair your trip with a visit toJessie’s Grove Winery. Located in a huge oak grove, Jessie’s exemplifies Lodi’s sophisticated yet down-to-earth approach to winemaking, including delicious old-vine Zins.

To reach the Cosumnes River Preserve, exit Twin Cities Rd. off of I-5, just north of Lodi. Head east, then turn right onto Franklin Blvd. Follow Franklin for 1.5 miles to the visitor center. No dogs on trails.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Nice Ring to It

    This tiny but mighty open space preserve on the Tiburon Peninsula can often exhibit a wide range of wildflowers late into the season, not to mention one of the most jaw-dropping views of the bay.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Dripping History

    Historical hideout, hidden hollow, rustlers’ retreat. Whatever you want to call Dripping Cave in Laguna Nigel, it is truly a cool, compelling cavern. To reach the grandiose grotto, take a 5-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, a 4,50…

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    New Rules of the Trail

    As some parks around California begin to re-open, we came up with tips for being responsible on your outdoor adventures. Let’s do our part so we can all keep enjoying the parks.

    View