Paddling on the Cosumnes River

Cosumnes River is a beautiful, natural waterway and the central focus for the Preserve. It is the last free-flowing river from the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Central Valley. Paddlers can enjoy a scenic glide through the river’s sloughs and main channel, cruising along riparian forest, oak woodland and through wetlands teeming with wildlife. This 80-mile river can be accessed from the Preserve’s boat launch, to the right (south) of the Visitor Center.

HOURS: Parking lots are open from 9am-5pm. You are welcome to stay until sunset only if you park in the upper parking lot near the Visitor Center. The entrance gate closes at 5pm, however the exit gate closes at Sunset.

Bring your gear and explore on your own!

TO ACCESS BOAT LAUNCH:

Parking and accessing is FREE. The upper parking lot near the Visitor Center provides a path to the boat launch. You’ll need to walk about 200 yards from the parking lot to the boat launch. We recommend bringing a canoe cart/wheels to transport your kayak or canoe.

Motorized boats are not allowed to be launched from this area.

 The river has relatively flat water, allowing for excellent boating opportunities throughout most of the year. Because it is tidally influenced, we recommend checking out tide and flow charts here.

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Join us on a guided paddle!

NOTICE: All guided paddles are currently postponed. We will update this section when guided paddles resume.

New to the Cosumnes River or just wanting to take a leisurely paddle while learning about the history of Preserve? Our experienced docents will guide you on a tour through Preserve sloughs and along the Cosumnes River, teaching you about the flora, fauna, and history of the landscape. You are required to bring your own boat, paddles, and PFD. See upcoming guided paddling dates by clicking, “Calendar” in the menu.