Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

This is a 18,000 acre site of protected land in the southern portion of the county near Elk Grove, one of the few urban refuges in the nation. Grasslands, vernal pools and diverse wildlife and plant life can be found here, but most of it can only be seen through guided tours that go past the paved Blue Heron loop trails.

• Easy to Locate? Yes
• Pet Friendly? No.
• Easy to Walk? Yes
• Is there a Fee? No.
• Are there Restrooms? Yes
• Is there Accessible Parking? Yes
• Other Notes: The longer guided tours and paddles are available only at certain times of the year and meet up spots vary. Information about guided tours can be found HERE.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location.

According to their website: “…Established in 1992, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is an urban refuge located 10 miles from downtown Sacramento sandwiched between the city of Elk Grove and agricultural lands. Conserving and enhancing Central Valley habitat and wildlife, the refuge hosts a variety of Central Valley habitats including grassland savannah, riparian forest, wetlands, and native freshwater lakes.  Year-round and seasonal public use activities include the free environmental education site Blue Heron Trails, docent guided walks, wildlife viewing paddle program, and a waterfowl hunting program. In addition to these activities, the refuge also hosts numerous school environmental education field trips and habitat restoration projects…”


How to Get There:

  • From Sacramento:
  • Take Interstate 5 South
  • Exit at Hood Franklin Road
  • Turn RIGHT onto Hood Franklin Road
  • Stay on Hood Franklin until you see the turnout for the refuge’s parking lot on the LEFT
  • Park in designated areas

1624 Hood Franklin Rd, Elk Grove, CA 95757

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist

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