Cosumnes River Preserve

  • Visitor center
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


  • Visitor center
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


13501 Franklin Blvd, Galt, CA, 95632
Sacramento Valley
Info: 916-684-2816
Daily, 8am to 5pm
Not allowed, service animals OK
Last Visited:
April 2021
Located 40 miles south of Sacramento, Cosumnes River Preserve is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. From October to February people flock here to experience the annual migration of the sandhill cranes but the reserve can be enjoyed year-round although summers can be hot. Four miles of accessible trails traverse the preserve and a robust visitor center (closed due to Covid so check their website) has interpretive exhibits both indoor & outdoor. There’s a dock to launch a kayak or canoe however disabled access was not reviewed during our visit.

Trails and Pathways

Wetlands Walk
Time to Complete:
45 minutes
Trailhead Location:
Next to the visitor center and at the northern parking lot on Franklin Rd.
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: This one-mile Wetlands Walk loop trail, with a ½ mile boardwalk extension, is a great way to see the preserves diverse habitats. Leaving from the visitor center, this moderately trafficked trail takes you down a long ramp to a bridge across Willow Slough where there is an abundance of button bush and willow. Look in the trees for swallow & wood duck nesting boxes. At the fork you can follow the dirt River Walk Trail for about 2 miles around the managed wetlands (it was low on my late March hike) or continue on the Wetlands Walk. At the second bridge veer left to again cross Willow Slough. Tule, which the Miwok wove into mats for sleeping, flooring, and cigar-shaped rafts called balsas, is abundant here. Next you’ll pass through a stand of valley oak that provide some of the only shade on the reserve. There’s a crosswalk at Franklin Rd but autos don’t have a stop sign so proceed with caution. On this side of the road you’ll find expansive views overlooking the ponds and depending on the time of year, see a variety of waterfowl. Continue south along the trail to a boardwalk that leads .25 miles to a large viewing deck or stay on the trail to finish the loop back to the visitor center.




More Info: Except for the wooden ramp at the trailhead this trail is level The section of trail along Franklin Blvd can be covered in waterfowl droppings
River Walk Trail
Time to Complete:
1 hour
Trailhead Location:
Next to the visitor center
Trail Length:
2-4 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: This 3-mile hike (we did under two miles) shares the trailhead with the Wetlands Walk (above). At the junction after the bridge turn right to follow the compacted dirt River Walk Trail that leads through a variety of ecosystems including wetlands, riparian forest, and grasslands. On our visit we only explored the section of trail that basically encircled the wetlands which in late March was pretty dry. Some spur trails were closed. We didn’t see much wildlife but since the weather was perfect it made for a nice stroll. The first part of the trail provided shade amongst the oaks but otherwise there was little shade and could be hot in the summer.
More Info: Except for the wooden ramp at the trailhead this trail is level. The terrain varies (compacted dirt, dried grass) but is firm. It would likely be muddy in places after rains.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

One accessible space next to the visitor center and 2 at each lot off of Franklin Blvd.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Vault toliet available a both parking lots. Check the website for closures due to Covid. No water. 

Accessible Picnic Table:
firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, less than 27" knee clearance

Accessible Visitor Center:

Other Things of Interest:
Check out the preserves You Yube channel for virtual hikes.

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