Cosumnes River Preserve Guided Tour for KIDS!

Kids Nature Trail Guide - 6.21.24
9-19 rain

Cross the bridge to view Willow Slough, influenced by tides all the way from the Pacific Ocean! A slough is a river channel that has no outlet.


Beware! Poison Oak. Leaves of three, let it be. Poison Oak grows on both sides of the trail here and along other areas of the Preserve. It grows from spring through fall.  This plant serves as an important reminder to stay on marked trails and only touch plants you absolutely know are safe to do so.


Check out our 200-year-old Valley Oak! Resilient to long-term flood water, lobed leaves adorn! This tree has been here likely since the Plains Miwok People began roaming this oak forest. slides!


See the amazing Otter Slides! (Hint-look on the river side of the trail for evidence of TWO slides!) The depressions in the mud here are otter slides. River otters climb up the bank of Middle Slough, cross the trail you are on now, and feed in the marshlands. They return to the water the same way. Beavers may also use these


Peep the same Cattails the Plains Miwok used for food (peeled, raw & roasted) and wove into mats! The Plains Miwok would peel the roots and stems and eat them raw then roast and eat the flower heads of the cattails. The roots are very starchy and feed muskrats and beaver. Mats were woven from the flat leaves.  fall.


To your right, you will find willows. Willows have slender pointed leaves. Their bark was used by Native Americans for baskets.  


Quietly approach the left (north) side of the trail at the Oak Savannah and look carefully. You may see some amazing grazing animals, nesting birds, and rodents in one of their favorite habitats at the Cosumnes River Preserve!

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Spy our Western Pond Turtles, Red-Eared Sliders, Otters, and Herons! Western Pond Turtles are the only native freshwater turtles in California. However, the Red-Eared Sliders are non-native, often the result of pet owners illegally releasing them when they become too big to care for. These non-natives often outcompete the smaller Western Pond Turtles for preferred basking and egg laying sites. Red-Eared Sliders have yellow stripes on their necks and legs and a red patch behind the eye. They are slightly larger than the Western Pond Turtles.


Welcome to the 1/2-mile Lost Slough Wetlands Walk! In fall and winter, you can spy swans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds! Take the Boardwalk Trail (to the west across Franklin Boulevard-USE CAUTION AND LOOK BOTH WAYS) for a half mile round trip walk over flooded ponds (fall and winter).