** Notice: Blue Heron Trails will be closed for August and September. We apologize for any inconvenience. **
Welcome to Blue Heron Trails
Normally open daily, year-round. The refuge does not have a Visitor Center.
- Summer Hours (April - September): 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Winter Hours (October - March): 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Another nearby option for nature trails is at Cosumnes River Preserve, which is open daily with free parking, multiple trails, and a Visitor Center.
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
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.
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.
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. No dogs/pets.
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.