December 6th, 2017
We like to say that Rush Ranch is locally loved and nationally famous. Local people love the Ranch for the great bird and wildlife watching, scenic hiking trails, and rich human history. Nationally, Rush Ranch is famous for the tidal brackish marsh at the heart of the property. Rush Ranch’s marsh is a rare and special remnant of a once vast habitat that gives scientists, and the casual visitor, an opportunity to learn more about California’s natural history.
From Interstate 80 in Solano County, take the CA 12 East Exit. Drive about 4 miles on Highway 12, then turn right onto Grizzly Island Road. Follow Grizzly Island Road 2.5 miles south then turn right on to the gravel driveway. There is a large sign that says “Rush Ranch”.
There are three hiking trails at Rush Ranch: the Marsh Trail and South Pasture Trail leave from the Nature Center and the Suisun Hill Trail leaves across from the main entry gate. All three trails have their perks (and their fans), but we recommend hiking a small portion of the Marsh Trail. (We are marsh scientists, after all!) After checking out the map and exhibits at the Nature Center, pick up the trail as it enters the Eucalyptus grove just past the Syar arena. Follow the trail towards the Marsh Overlook Hill, hike up the small hill for a spectacular view of Suisun Marsh. After resting on the strategically placed benches, follow the small trail that winds down the hillside towards the replica of a Patwin Hut. Stay right after exploring the hut to make a loop around the base of the hill and back towards the Nature Center. Be sure to pause near the edge of the marsh to listen for birds singing and maybe, if you are really lucky, catch a glimpse of a river otter. This hike is relatively flat and about 1 mile long.