The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action. The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary attracts butterflies, birds and weary city dwellers | Travelin' Local

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a respite from City Life for Butterflies, Birds and weary City Dwellers

Feb 13, 2011 by Sandy Schroeder

The minute I stepped onto the trail at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, a huge jackrabbit bounced right across me. He paused for a moment while waiting under a nearby bush, trying to gauge my next move.

Overhead, flocks of birds wheeled and soared throughout the sky, and far away, the Irvine complex of massive buildings loomed, with the occasional glint of a car reflecting in the sunlight.

The San Diego Creek, which parallels the trail, was shimmering in the afternoon sun. To be sure, it was a marvelous time to share this particular Sunday afternoon with all the birds, butterflies and the jackrabbits who also call the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary home.

The sanctuary is situated at the edge of the University of California Irvine campus, just off Campus Road, close to a nest of busy Irvine streets. Watch for the turnoff onto Riparian Street.

If not careful, you might easily miss the sharp left turn onto the straight little two lane road until a sharp left takes you down a steep driveway–and the you’re here.

All is quiet. An oasis of silence and sun and birds awaits your visit.

Be sure to take a hat, sunscreen, water, camera and binoculars.

This is also a nice outing if you have someone with physical limitations because portions of the site are wheelchair access friendly.

In all, at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, there are 11 miles of marked trails and visitors are asked to not stray from the trails, or bring their own pets.

Also, alcohol, and feeding of wildlife are also prohibited. Boating, swimming, wading, fishing and firearms are prohibited, as is smoking, campfires and camping. Organized events must be arranged in advance with the sanctuary’s staff.

Visitors are asked not to collect or disturb plants or wildlife. However, berries can be harvested along Riparian Circle.

Essentially, this is a beautiful preserve for wildlife in the midst of the city; treat it with respect and just savor being here. There are many viewpoint benches and resting spots throughout the sanctuary.

As you enjoy your visit to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, you may wish you were more familiar with the birds of Southern California. Dr. Peter Bryant of the University of California has compiled an excellent guide that might tempt you to become a more knowledgeable bird watcher.

This lovely wildlife preserve is located at 5 Riparian St., in Irvine, and is free to the public. It’s open from dawn to dusk every day.

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Family, Hiking/Walking, Orange County, Parks, Recreation, SoCal
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