The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. The Reserve is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The 1700-acre Reserve is a hub of activity and hosts programs that promote education, research, and conservation in Elkhorn Slough. The Visitor Center has award-winning exhibits that invite everyone to explore the Unseen Slough. There are five miles of trails that meander through beautiful oak woodlands, calm tidal creeks, and freshwater marshes. Tours are offered on the weekends and special events throughout the year.
This is a lovely easy walk that we've now done twice on Winter solstice. Come in the last hour of the day for a special golden light that makes for amazing photos. Plenty of birds and a nice visitor center to warm up in with knowledgeable docents. Plenty of parking as well.
If you are with kids or grandparents, walk out to the boardwalk and bridge, explore the ruins of the Big Barn. If you'd like a longer stroll, do the whole loop. About 2 miles for the loop.
Dawn B. on Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing
Great day, I decided to do all three trails along with all the outlooks, blinds, and vista points. It ended up being ~6.5 miles. Cost for use permit $4.25.