Now’s the Time to Enjoy Spring on the Sacramento River Trail

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Spring is my favorite time of year. And this spring along the Sacramento River is rather unique, following the Carr Fire. The north trail, west of the Diestelhorst Bridge at the end of Harlan Drive, is the area I treasure most. From there, it’s about a mile and a half to the Ribbon Bridge. I find it quite intriguing because it’s so unusual with an excellent view of the opposite side of the river.

Beneath what’s left of the blackened trees and brush, green grass blankets the hillsides, looking like freshly mown lawn. In some areas you’ll enjoy a flowery sea of baby blue eyes wild flowers, and bright orange poppy blossoms add color to the green landscape.

Soon, we’ll see poppies blooming everywhere. It’s beautiful out there, whether the sky is blue or overcast, with dynamic, cloud formations. It’s even nice while it’s raining. The freshness of spring is definitely in the air.

A few weeks following the Carr Fire, I posted pictures of the river trail west of the Harlan Drive entrance. I wanted my photos to highlight the surprising beauty, instead of focusing on the devastation.

My first photo here in this current post was taken after the Carr Fire at the Harlan Drive entrance. In the second photo I stood in the same spot so you can see the seasonal change. From there it’s an adventure, whether you’re jogging, biking, skating, skateboarding or just walking with family, friends, or your dog.

Along your journey, you might notice the burnt tree trunk that looks like a seal. It’s amazing and a must-see. It’s by the 3.5 mile marker. Another point of interest is a cave in the hillside, north of the 3-mile marker near a small waterfall. You’ll see it along a curve in the trail near the Ribbon Bridge. The cave is small, but it’s big enough to provide shelter. I’m 6’2″ and can fully stand up inside.

Now while it’s green, is the time to enjoy this memorable trail. You’ll observe what fire has destroyed as nature breaths new life into the landscape. There are several benches along the way, so you can sit and enjoy the beauty around you. You can relax in the peace of nature and feel that you are part of the serenity. People are friendly, and should you see me out there with my dog Bodie, please, say hello.

Steve DuBois
For many years Steve DuBois has enjoyed taking photos of his dogs in interesting and unusual places. He created a photo book of his dogs especially for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he donated several copies. He loves that the kids enjoy seeing his dogs photographed in unusual ways. Steve says his dogs have been his photographic inspiration and motivation, but sometimes he tries his hand at nature shots, such as the photos he captured of the north state’s 2017 flooding, published here on A News Steve DuBois lives in Redding.
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5 Responses

  1. Thank you, Steve. I confess that I haven’t been on the trail as much since the Carr Fire. I appreciate the reminder. (And I’m looking forward to keeping an eye open for that cave. Interesting!)

    • Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

      I read where you’d been on the trail with a friend, and wondered which side of the river you were enjoying? I haven’t been on the south side as much, but look forward to exploring it more. I like to stop and ‘smell the roses’, so to speak. The Carr Fire really did carve out some interesting patterns and shapes. I’m sure you’ll find the cave. It’s right there by the tree with a limb curving over the trail as shown in the photo. And it’s next to the waterfall (if it’s been raining) just north of the 3.5 mile marker.

  2. Avatar Tim says:

    Great pictures, thanks. Is the ribbon bridge officially open?

  3. Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

    There’s still a sign at the Harlan entrance that says the Stress Ribbon Bridge is closed. But according to the GIS Bureau of Land Management’s map, it is open. The map still shows a portion of the south side of the river officially closed. From the north side of the river, I see the south side is still constantly used.

  4. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    I’ve been afraid to go look at the Swasey trails or Middle Creek Trail. Ditto Mill Creek Trail at Whiskeytown NRA. Has anyone taken a look?

    I did try to take a hike at Whiskeytown a couple of weeks ago, but the road to the trailhead at Peltier Bridge on Clear Creek was still closed.