Lake Solano Park

Easy to Locate?

Dog-Friendly?

Easy to Walk?

FREE?

Adequate Parking?

Restroom Facilities?

Yes

NO

 Yes

$5 Day Use

Yes

Yes  

Lake Solano Park is off of Pleasants Valley Road in Winters, California.  The park is on one side of the street, and a camping area is on the other.  Although dogs are allowed in the camping area, they are not allowed in the park.  There is adequate parking at the park, and several large restrooms.  The park itself includes a small fishing pond (seasonal), a children’s play area, picnic tables and BBQ grilles, and badminton/volley ball nets and is a nice mix of manicured lawns and paved walkways and more “natural” areas with foot-trails along the side of the lake, so there’s something for everyone.  There is also a small dock area with canoes you can rent, and a glassed-in nature center where you can rent out the exhibit room and use the kitchen (for a fee, of course).  It’s quite lovely.  You may notice when you’re there that the air is filled not only with the sounds of ducks, geese, and other birds but is also punctuated with the moos of local cattle and the cries of peacocks.

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When I was at the park in the spring, I walked through the park and into some of the rough areas, then turned around and walked the lake-side path along the edge of the camp ground.  All around the park there were cottonwood trees, mulberry trees, black walnut and buckeye chestnut trees, grey pines, cattails,  tules (Schoenoplectus acutus) and horsetail grass (Equisetum arvense), wild grapes, gooseberries and wild blackberries…  I saw a variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, and some Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars.   Lake Solano is fed by Putah Creek, and is supposed to be one of the best places in the Sacramento Valley to fly-fish for Brown and Rainbow trout.  I saw actually some Brown Trout just basking in a shallow pool when I was there, and in another area saw a huge bullfrog tadpole sitting in the water.  I also got to see ducks, geese (and ducklings and goslings), Blue Herons, Red-Winged Black Birds, Phoebes, and Scrub Jays while I was there… and several peacocks, including one in his full regalia, strutting for the females.

How to Get to Lake Solano Park

Lake Solano Park is relatively easy to get to.  It’s located at 8685 Pleasants Valley Road, Winters, California  and you can call the park at (530) 795-2990.

With thanks to Google Maps for this image.
With thanks to Google Maps for this image.

From Woodland, you take Highway 16 to the 505 South (toward Vacaville); the roadways are well-marked so turn-offs are hard to miss.  Google Maps says it’s then a “slight right” to the 505 from the 16 but that’s not really accurate.  You turn onto an on-ramp that wraps around sharply to the right and deposits you on the 505.  Stay on the 505 until you get to Highway 128 (Exit 11).  Turn right when you exit off the 505 and head toward the city of Winters.  The park is on Pleasants Valley Road.  There is a sign immediately before the left-hand turn that will take you to the park, but the street itself isn’t marked very well.  (If you miss this turn off, you can turn around further up the road at the Putah Creek fishing access area on Highway 128.)  Turn left onto Pleasants Valley Road and you’ll see the park on your left and the camping area on your right.  The park is open from about 8:00 am to about 4:00 pm, and you are not able to be the park area at all when it’s closed.  (Check-in time for the camping area is around 2:30 pm. You can make reservations on-line.  As I mentioned, the park area is closed to dogs, but the camping area allows them — usually only 2 dogs per campsite.  There’s an extra fee payable for each dog brought into the camp ground and you have to provide proof of a rabies vaccination. Click here for more information or to make reservations at the camp ground.)

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