If you enjoy off the beaten path adventures, pack the kids or the dog, and your binoculars and follow me to Rush Ranch. This over-looked treasure is a gold mine for history lovers, bird and wildlife watchers, as well as solitude seekers. I had the opportunity to visit Rush Ranch during their annual open house. Believe me when I say that these stewards of the land threw open the barn doors, welcoming young and old to explore this hidden nugget in Solano County.
It’s not everyday that you’ll come across wool spinners, blacksmiths, buckskinners, cowboys and cowgirls in one location. Unless, of course, you happen upon Rush Ranch during their annual open house. Held each year in April, Rush Ranch is an opportunity to educate our children as future stewards of open space preservation.
The land and water surrounding Rush Ranch is protected indefinitely thanks to the hard working volunteers of the Solano Land Trust. The working ranch and marsh is loved by dog walkers and nature lovers, alike. What makes this marsh unique is that it is a natural tidal marsh where the salt and fresh water come together, creating a one-of-a-kind nature habitat for the likes of the clapper rail, a chicken-sized bird and the salt marsh harvest mouse.
How do I know about these birds and animals that live at the ranch? I learned a thing or two from talking to the folks at the Napa Solano Audubon Society and the Suisun Wildlife Center. It was at Rush Ranch that I got my first up close and personal experience with Rusty the red-tailed hawk. I typically only see these magnificent raptors soaring above me when I’m horseback riding, but thanks to the volunteer educators, I was able to admire Rusty’s wing span from a respectful distance away.
I also learned that Rush Ranch is a California Watchable Wildlife official viewing site. The area offers great hiking and is easily accessible to all, including those with mobility issues. Access Adventure provides carriage rides to the general public on the third Saturday of every month from April through October.
Access Adventure is an organization that has been operating out of Rush Ranch since 2005.Founder Michael Muir – great grandson of John Muir, and his crew offer horse-drawn carriage rides that are wheelchair accessible, providing outdoor recreation and therapy for people with disabilities.
For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and @RidingHorseback and follow Solano Land Trust @solanolandtrust.