Saturday morning we spent time kayaking in the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. We visited a private area that can only be accessed on the Wildlife Observation Paddle Tours with a guide. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was only five minutes from our home in Laguna West, Elk Grove and it took me and my wife over 20 years of living here to discover it. The area we accessed is a three mile slough. We were lucky the Sandhill Cranes had just showed up a couple of days ago. We also saw plenty of Blue Herons.
Our docent relayed one interesting story to us. The refuge was created in 1994. The area was overgrown had not been managed well. At first, no Sandhill Cranes visited the area. After about 10 years of work, the first couple of Sandhill Cranes showed up. Today, over 1,500 cranes show up each year. Lots of other birds visit the area too so you just never know what you will see. Regardless, the area is beautiful and stands on its own as a destination to visit whether you have lived here for 20 years or are just visiting the area for a few days.
There is only one more planned guided tour this year on Saturday, October 5th from 9 am to noon. It looks like the tours will pick up again in early June next year. They also hosted a harvest tour in September that looks like it would be a lot of fun to join. Maybe I will see you on that tour next year.
Elk Grove has a lot to offer. Feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have about the area. We have lots of activities and fun adventures here and nearby, great restaurants and some wonderful neighborhoods like, Laguna West, Lakeside, Stone Lake (and many others!).