Visit Us

Welcome to Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge!  Please enjoy the many recreational opportunities at the refuge throughout the year, from nature walks to waterfowl hunting.  If you have any questions about any of the activities, please email:  stonelakes@fws.gov    Be safe, have fun, and learn something new about your wild neighbors.

Activities

Stone Lakes NWR is pleased to support the local community and offer numerous opportunities to visit the refuge. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Trails

Welcome to Blue Heron Trails!

Hours 
Open daily, year-round. 

  • Summer Hours (April - September): 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Winter Hours (October - March): 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

A few reminders:

  • An accessible non-flush restroom is located at the visitors parking lot.  Since the restrooms are non-flush (ie; 'campground style', no running water), we recommend you bring hand sanitizer. 
  • Stay on concrete pathways only. Going off trail into closed areas may result in a citation.
  • Parking lot is for visitors only.  NO overnight parking or leaving vehicles in lot all day unattended.  Vehicles left overnight or all day unattended may or will be towed at owner’s expense. 
  • NO dogs/pets
     

Cost
Free! 

What to Bring
To enhance your visit, we recommend: water, sunscreen, hat, snacks, insect repellent, camera, field guides, binoculars, walking shoes, wear layers, and any other personal comfort items you may need.  The trails and facilities are accessible, so mobility equipment such as strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs are welcome.  Although there aren't formal picnic tables, there is a pavilion where you are welcome to have your lunch.  We kindly request that all trash and leftover food is taken back with you to dispose of at home.  No dogs/pets.

What NOT to Bring
Sorry, but dogs/pets must stay at home. Remember, this is a special habitat and we want to minimize disturbance to wildlife.  Please see the Rules and Policies page for more information. 

Directions
Blue Heron Trails is located south of Sacramento, just outside of Elk Grove.  From Sacramento, travel south on Interstate 5 and take the Hood Franklin Road exit.  At the stop sign, turn right, heading west for about one mile.  The entrance sign and turn lane will be on your left. Please note, Blue Heron Trails hours are seasonal so check the current hours before your visit.  Parking lot is for visitors only.  NO overnight parking or leaving vehicles in lot all day unattended.  Vehicles left overnight or all day unattended may or will be towed at owner’s expense. 

Additional Important Tidbits
An accessible paved trail consists of a mile of loops around managed wetlands hosting various migrants such as hawks, shorebirds, Sandhill cranes and waterfowl.  The best time of year to view visiting migratory birds is October - May, but you may encounter and see local resident wildlife throughout the year.  Although young trees have been planted, there will be little shade as you walk, so please be prepared for being exposed to the sun. An accessible non-flush restroom is located at the visitors parking lot.  Since the restrooms are non-flush (ie; 'campground style'), we recommend you bring hand sanitizer.  This is a great opportunity to get the family outdoors and learn something new about your wild neighbors at one of the several educational kiosks.  Remember, the wildlife is sharing the refuge with us, so please respect their home and minimize disturbance.

Related Documents

Currently the map does NOT include all the lands managed by Stone Lakes NWR.  We hope to have that fixed in the near future.

Stone_Lakes_General_Brochure_508

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge General Brochure, 2009

SLNWR_Bird_List_Brochure_508

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Bird List, 2003

SLNWR_CA_Location_Map_508

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Location Map

Rules and Policies

To protect habitat and keep Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge a safe place for both wildlife and people, please follow these simple rules. ALL areas of the refuge are closed to public entry unless otherwise explicitly posted as a nature trail, parking lot, or special public event or activity. Some areas are closed seasonally and are posted as such.  Sorry, no dogs/pets allowed. 

Locations

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
1624 Hood-Franklin Road Elk Grove, CA 95757-9774

Email:  stonelakes@fws.gov

Currently the map does NOT include all the lands managed by Stone Lakes NWR.  We hope to have that fixed in the near future.

Driving Directions

Driving Directions: Refuge Office and Blue Heron Trails

The Refuge office and Blue Heron Trails is located south of Sacramento, just outside of Elk Grove.  From Sacramento, travel south on Interstate 5 and take the Hood Franklin Road exit.  At the stop sign, turn right, heading west for about one mile.  The entrance sign and turn lane will be on your left. Please note, Blue Heron Trails is open every day but hours are seasonal. Please check the current hours before your visit.  

Hours
Blue Heron Trails Hours
Daily, Year-round
Summer (April - September): 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. / Winter (October - March): 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 4 p.m., Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Federal Holidays