Lake Solano Park

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.  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.

Easy to Locate? Yes
Pet Friendly? No. Pets are only allowed on the campsite side of the road, not in the park itself.
Easy to Walk? Yes.
Is there a Fee? Yes. You’ll need to pay at the kiosk by the front gate. The current fee is $6 per vehicle, I believe.
Are there Restrooms? Yes.
Is there Accessible Parking? Yes. If the small main lot at the front of the park is full, there is lots of parking available on the rise above the park.
Other Notes: There’s something to see here year-round including a resident flock of peafowl. OBEY ALL PARK RULES. No glass containers are allowed on the site.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location throughout the last several years.

The park shows you something different in every season, but is always dotted with oak trees, Cottonwoods, Box Elder trees, Black and English walnut trees, Gray Pines, tules and cattails.

In the winter and spring the main feature is the migrating birds. You may see a wide variety of waterfowl including Goldeneyes, Buffleheads and Loons, along with the resident egrets, herons and the occasional Phainopepla. In the summer, dragonflies and damselflies are abundant, as well as an interesting variety of galls on the oak trees.

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.  It’s not uncommon to see otters and beaver in the water. And the place is visited regularly by osprey and the occasional eagle.

How to Get to Lake Solano Park

It’s located at:
8685 Pleasants Valley Road, Winters, California
Phone: (530) 795-2990
Website: http://www.solanocounty.com/depts/rm/countypark/park_reservation_form_and_maps.asp

• From Sacramento, take I5 North to the city of Woodland
• Exit on the Main Street exit
• Turn LEFT onto Main Street
o Continue on through the city of Woodland
Main Street becomes Highway 16
• Stay on Highway 16 until you get to the 505 South (toward Vacaville) off-ramp. The off-ramp will ramp around dump you onto the 505.
• Stay on the 505 until you get to Highway 128 (Exit 11).
• At the Highway 128 exit, turn RIGHT and continue on through the city of Winters.
o The park is on Pleasants Valley Road. There is a sign immediately before the left-hand turn that will take you to the park. (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.
• Turn LEFT into the park and pay at the kiosk before parking.

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.

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist