Walking in Nature: Sacramento

Just like most kids - mine love to be outside. No matter what the weather. Trying to get outside even during the bad weather can be challenging - but letting the kids feel the rain and the cold is a great learning opportunity as long as they are dressed right.

There are lots of great places to take your kids on nature walks in the Sacramento area. Some of these you've heard of before and some of these might surprise you.


Effie Yeaw Nature Center / Ancil Hoffman Park: This one is no surprise. I've talked about it on the blog over and over and over again. We love visiting the nature center and seeing the birds and other creatures they have on display. We love walking the trail and finding deer and turkeys almost every time. There is so much to explore here that the kids never really get tired of it.

Jo Smith Nature Trail: This is a cool little area because you have some trails around Arcade Creek and they also have a playground. When we visited this area (pictured above) recently we walked on the trails first, then we played for a bit at the playground, then we walked the trails so more. nice way to mix it up for the little ones.

Stock Ranch Nature Preserve: This hidden gem is right behind Costco and Walmart so you could even combine this outing with a shopping trip. Lots of birds, trails and even a bridge. A great place to let the kids run and explore and paved paths. If you live in the area and haven't checked it out yet - I really recommend it.

American River Parkway: There is so much to explore along this 23-mile parkway. Some of my favorite places are Paradise Beach (under water right now - best in the Summer), William B. Pond Recreation Area and many of the small walk-in access points along the way. Just explore different areas until you find your favorite.

Folsom Lake: Another huge area with lots to explore. I would encourage you to just explore different areas with your kids every time you go. Of course in the Summer you can get in the water too. I spent time on this lake as a teenager and loved it. Now it is fun exploring with my kids.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery: This is an area I came a lot with my parents when I was young. It is so fun for little ones to get to see the fish and then explore the trails around the hatchery. Lots to see along the river too. Bring coins so you can buy fish food and feed the baby fish!

Cosumnes River Preserve: As I write this - all of this preserve is underwater and this is NOT a good time to check it out. But, I couldn't leave it off the list. When the weather gets better and all this glorious rain stops - take your kids to check out this preserve. I'm a sucker for boardwalk trails at nature preserves like this one.

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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