Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a little oasis right in the city! It’s easy to get to, the trails are short and sweet, and there’s so much to observe and learn. I took an few hours to lead a Hike It Baby hike there this week and it was so much fun!
Why we love it: The nature center itself has live animals (who doesn’t love seeing owls, snakes, and more?) and an Exhibit Hall that allows visitors to explore the natural and cultural history of the Lower American River. Make sure to grab a free map (and pay your $5 parking fee) before heading outside. We loved all of the animals the kids were able to see, and how much fun they had throwing rocks into the American River!
For the Young Ones (0-10): If you’ve taken your little ones on paved walks around town, this is a perfect next step to graduate up to dirt and more narrow trails (not designed for strollers or wheelchairs). Our group had kids age 2 – age 7, and each and every one were in awe of the deer, birds, and tadpoles we spotted.
For the Big Kids (10+): If big kids are interested in bird watching, this is a great spot! We saw many different kinds of birds, and even us adults were introduced to the red-breasted sapsucker.
Keep in Mind:
- The nature center is inside Ancil Hoffman County Park. Driving along Tarshes Drive, just keep going and look for signs for the nature center and San Lorenzo Way.
- Daily parking pass is $5, payable inside the nature center.
- The American River is flowing fast right now. Take every caution near the water’s edge.
- You may want to call ahead to make sure the nature center is accepting guests when you plan to go. They get extremely busy with field trips and summer camps, and may turn away groups during peak hours.
Around the Area: Home! It was so nice to be out in nature on a weekday, and still get home in time for dinner.
Difficulty Level: Beginner.