The Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Preserve

Easy to Locate?


Easy to Walk?


Adequate Parking?

Restroom Facilities?


NO Yes $6 or annual pass Yes Yes

This nature area is part of the American River Parkway System and is directly across the river from the American River Bend Park.  The preserve is open year-round for walking from dawn until dusk, but the Nature Center itself has changing hours of operation depending on the season.   The preserve has a strict NO DOGS ALLOWED policy, so leave your pooches at home when you plan to visit here.  There is also no smoking allowed anywhere on the preserve.

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All of the trails throughout the 100-acre preserve are easy to walk and include interpretive signage (and even access to an audio walking tour via cell phone) to help you identify what you’re looking at along the way.  No bicycles or horses are allowed on the trails.   Each trail is about 3/4-mile long, and they loop together if you’re feeling up to a longer round-about walk.  This is a riverside riparian area, so you’ll get the opportunity to see a wide variety of birds, insects, plants and animals along the trails.  The preserve boasts a large population of Acorn Woodpeckers, Wild Turkeys and Mule Deer, along with lots of other local wildlife, insects, fungi, songbirds and waterfowl.  Many of the female Mule Deer seem to raise their youngsters in this quiet and secluded preserve, and it’s not uncommon to see mothers and offspring together in small groups along the trails.

The Nature Center itself includes glassed-in enclosures for the wild creatures the center staff helps to rehabilitate (usually owls and hawks), a small gift shop, and a display area that shows visitors information about the creatures and plants that reside in and around the preserve.  Outside of the Nature Center there is also a tiny wetlands pond, a native plants garden, and an extraordinary replica of a Nisenan Maidu village including large grinding stones and tule huts.  You can picnic at the tables adjacent to the Nature Center, but not along the trails.

To get to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Preserve from Sacramento:

Ancil Hoffman County Park, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, off Tarshes Drive in Carmichael CA 95608

Thank you to Google Maps for this image.
Thank you to Google Maps for this image.

Take Fair Oaks Blvd, to Oak Avenue
Turn right on Oak Avenue
(The street sign for Oak Avenue is recessed a bit from the main road, and is black-and-white, which may make it difficult to see.  Coming in from Fair Oaks Blvd, look for a spot where there’s a slow curve, caution arrows, and signage that says “Speed 35 Miles per Hour”.  Oak Avenue is on your right just after those signs.)
Oak Avenue will become California Avenue
Continue on California Avenue to Tarshes Drive
Turn right onto Tarshes Drive
Take Tarshes Drive to Lorenzo Way (it will come up on your left)
Turn left onto Lorenzo Way and continue on to the Nature Center parking lot.  There is a nominal fee to park there (about $6.00).  ((I purchase a year-round pass, so I can go there as often as I like.  Passes can be purchased at the American River Parkway Foundation website.))  Be careful not to try to go around the back of the parking lot.  You’ll get into a one-way zone with tire-shredding spikes, and it’s VERY difficult to turn around in there.

If you miss the Lorenzo Way sign, you’ll end up down in the golf course area.  Don’t panic.  There are parking lots there where you can turn around and head back up Tarshes to Lorenzo Way.

For more information, see the Effie Yeaw webage.

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