Wednesday, December 7, 2016
This time of year, millions of birds arrive in the Sacramento Valley as part of their annual migration cycle along the Pacific Flyway. Now is your opportunity to experience firsthand the incredible birds that grace this region. *1
This flat ride takes you along the winding levee roads above the fallow autumn fields around the Sacramento River and sloughs. Slow down and watch for Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, on flooded farm fields, wetlands and marshy habitats on Staten Island and the Cosumnes River Preserve.
Meet up in the town of Isleton.
Head east along Main St to H St and continue on Hwy 160/River Rd.
Cut across Andrus Island through a residential neighborhood on W Tyler Island Bridge Rd to the bridge crossing over Georgiana Slough.
Head NE on Tyler Island Rd-the winding levee road travels along Georgiana Slough on the west edge of Tyler Island.
Tyler Island Rd curves right towards Race Track Rd.
Head north on Race Track Rd through the vineyards, farmlands, and ranches.
Cut across Tyler Island through the industrial area out to the strawberry fields and vineyards at the south edge of Walnut Grove on Walnut Grove-Thornton Rd.
Ride across the Walnut Grove truss bridge over Mokelumne River towards Staten Island.
Right turn onto Staten Island Rd, it’s a great viewing area for Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds. Staten Island provides a fine buffet for wintering cranes. Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by its affiliate Conservation Farms and Ranches, Staten is a wildlife-friendly working farm, growing corn, triticale, and other crops the birds favor. Laura Shaskey, conservation program manager at Staten Island, says up to 8,000 cranes foraged on the island last fall, and a record high of 11,700 used night roosts there. Of particular conservation importance, Staten hosts one of the densest winter populations of the state-endangered greater sandhill. *1
View the magnificent Sandhill Cranes!
Continue on Staten Island Rd.
View the elegant swans & geese!
Turn around where the pavement ends and retrace steps back out onto Walnut Grove Rd.
Turn right on Walnut Grove Rd and continue east through the farmlands and vineyards to the town of Thornton.
Head north on Thornton Rd past the country homes, ranches, vineyards, and orchards.
The road name changes to Franklin Blvd at the Sacramento County line on the bridge over Mokelumne River.
Lunch stop at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center.
Continue north on Franklin Blvd for a stop at the bird viewing site at Lost Slough wetlands.
Enjoy the beautiful colorful waterfowls!
Stay on Franklin Blvd and cross the RR tracks on Desmond Rd to the north end of Cosumnes River Preserve. View the wildlife refuge area for migratory birds.
Continue out & back on Bruceville Rd for more wildlife viewing opportunities.
More Sandhill cranes & geese!
Return on Desmond Rd back to Franklin Blvd and continue north to Twin Cities Rd.
Head west on Twin Cities Rd through the pastoral ranch lands to I-5 on-ramp. Stay on Twin Cities Rd through vineyards and farmlands and cross the truss bridge over Snodgrass Slough.
Twin Cities Rd comes to T junction with River Rd/E13.
Head south along the Sacramento River on River Rd/E13 through the town of Locke.
River Rd/E13 continues through Walnut Grove towards the south end of town.
Continue SW on Race Track Rd and retrace steps back through the open agricultural fields towards Tyler Island Rd.
Return on Tyler Island Rd through the farmlands along Georgiana Slough.
Cross Georgiana Slough back to Tyler Island Bridge Rd.
Return on Hwy 160/River Rd to Isleton.
This is a wonderful variation of a classic ride around the islands and sloughs through the rich agricultural farmlands around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The out & back segments doubles the wildlife viewing pleasures from Staten Island out to Cosumnes River Preserve.
43.8 Miles with 289′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 75′
Max grade: 5%
Weather: Cloudy and COLD. Temps ranged from the high 30’s to the mid 40’s with NE winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: