Explore the Trails

There are over 4 miles of trails to explore at the Cosumnes River Preserve!

Access: The River Walk Trail and Wetlands Walk Trail can be accessed from the trailhead just north of the Visitor Center or across the street at the Boardwalk.

Trail Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. The River Walk Trail is a flat, dirt trail on a raised levee with both shaded and open sections. The Wetlands Walk is a flat, paved trail, mostly open with limited coverage.

Trail Updates Below – 7/10/2024

River Walk Trail: CLOSED at ‘Marker 13″ because of sheep grazing. Sheep grazing will begin on July 12th and run for approximately 2 weeks. 

Wetlands Walk Trail:  OPEN! 

Boardwalk Trail: OPEN!

**Dogs are not allowed on or off the leash at the Preserve.**

Rancho Seco Recreational Area just East of Galt consists of a 7-mile hike along Howard Ranch Trail. This area is a great place to see vernal pool grasslands and wetland habitat.

View our digital maps below!

View our Digital Trail Guide here.

View our Guided Trail Map for KIDS!

Download a printable version of this map: PDF Trail Map.

Planning a hiking event with your group? Make sure you check out our Permits section to verify whether or not you need a Special Recreation Permit.


Wetlands Walk Trail

A one-mile universally-accessible trail offering an up-close view of lush marshes, wetland plants, water-birds, insects, and amphibians. There is also a wooden boardwalk trail which is ADA accessible 1/2 mile round trip, meandering into the wetlands, with a viewing platform at the end. Both of these trails offer seats for resting along the trail.

River Walk Trail

A 3+ mile round trip on raised levees through a variety of habitats, including buttonbush thickets, native grasslands, valley oak riparian forest, cottonwood-willow riparian forest, tule marsh, valley oak savannah and several restoration projects. During the winter months, the natural flood cycle often results in complete inundation of this trail by floodwaters.

Howard Ranch Trail

Starting at the Rancho Seco Recreational Area and winding around the north end of Rancho Seco lake, this trail is a 7 mile out and back (3.5 miles each way) trail. The scenery on this trail includes vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, riparian and marsh habitat, and dramatic views of oak woodland habitat and the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains. This trail is open from 7AM to 6PM and there is a $12 charge per vehicle. Specific information about and maps of this trail is available Howard Ranch Information.