Nature Preserve

Explore the Nature Preserve

Hiking Trails in the Nature Preserve
Drawing & Painting
Picnic Tables and Play Area in front of the Visitor Center

The nature preserve surrounding the Effie Yeaw Nature Center includes 100 acres of beautiful riparian woodland along the American River. Entering this area feels like you are stepping back in time. In fact, the Nisenan Maidu native peoples used areas much like this for their summer villages. You’ll see a replica of one of these villages as you enter the Nature Center grounds. A variety of native and non-native plants and animals call the area home, many of which can be viewed from the trails that meander through the preserve. A garden of native flowering plants is located by a natural playscape area just in front of the Visitor Center building.

The nature preserve trails are easy to walk and each trail offers a unique experience of the varied habitats. The interpretive signs along each trail provide information about the natural history of the lower American River and its riparian habitats. Note: Because the nature preserve is managed to protect the native wildlife, horses, bicycles and dogs are not allowed.

For more information about the preserve and the trails, talk to staff inside our Visitor Center staff or click to download a PDF trail map.

Effie Yeaw Nature Center Trail Map

Watchable Wildlife

The Nature Area is included as a "Watchable Wildlife" site in the California state guide because of its reliable wildlife viewing opportunities. There is always something interesting to see so bring your binoculars and view the wildlife up close!

Many varieties of animal species live in or use the nature preserve and the Ancil Hoffman Park. See deer, squirrels, coyotes, wild turkeys, rabbits, snakes, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, songbirds and waterfowl on the river and ponds, as well as tracks or signs of many other animals.

Recent Wildlife Photography


Jack Rabbit

Photo By George V. Landry III


Ground Squirrel

Photo By George V. Landry III


Two Western Pond Turtles

Photo By George V. Landry III

View the Full Wildlife Gallery

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