Pelican Nature Trail

EASY 51 reviews

Pelican Nature Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Vernalis, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
65 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
9 hours ago

Three stars only because of the limited water views. Lots of Cranes, Herons. Egrets and Cottontails. Pretty much a full sun hike and I forgot a hat. Should be renamed the "3 Loop Trail".....

1 month ago

Short loop closed for a few months. Nice walk though

hiking
1 month ago

My 8-year-old loved this trail. My only gripe was that the arrow trail markers were a bit confusing. Otherwise, this was a great trail. We saw lots of little animals (rabbits, squirrels, bush birds, lizards, other birds). The scenery was beautiful. I will definitely return.

1 month ago

Very fun for the kids!

hiking
3 months ago

Great little hike. Lots of wildlife.

3 months ago

A lot of wildlife during the day. Not to pretty during the Winter.

4 months ago

Surprising nice trail. Saw more wildlife than any other trail I have done in the area. Pretty sure it’s a bit over 4 miles.

5 months ago

Peaceful, easy, and flat trail. I can see how sections can get flooded out during the rainy season. Lots of wildlife; spotted ducks, squirrels, rabbits, brush birds, a few herons, and a fox. Little shade so make sure to bring a hat/water/sunscreen.

hiking
6 months ago

Flat, very easy trail. This is a good Lon walk if you complete all three loops, but it is more of a walking trail than a hiking trail. Good trail for families looking to get out of the house. We went in December and there was no water and probably would be a better view in the spring.

hiking
6 months ago

Wish the trails were better marked. Had to use the Nike map to get me out. Dog enjoyed it.

7 months ago

boring

hiking
7 months ago

Nice easy trail, some pretty views of the river.

hiking
11 months ago

Other than the midget flies who chewed my lower legs up pretty badly (my own fault for hiking in shorts and no bug spray) it was a good hike. As everyone else has stated some trails still closed. Lots of cotton tails and ground squirrels to see along the manmade road trail. Plenty of shade even on a warm day. A lot of parking and bathrooms at the trailhead. No fees to park so it's free to hike.

11 months ago

Ok trail for beginners. Lots of Rabbits and lizards

hiking
11 months ago

Great place and local, lots of shade, dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed (remember to pick up after your dogs). Didn't see a person on the trails, walked over 4 miles, still some areas are closed off but still was able to get 4 miles in. There's plenty of shaded places and lots of animals, ducks, random birds, squirrels, rabbits, turtles, deer. I'll definitely come back. It does get warm, I left by 10 but it was already pretty warm.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

most of the trail is closed off due to flooding. Will need to go once the hike is open again

nature trips
Saturday, June 03, 2017

It's not as big as some trailed but it's a really pleasant hideaway and a nice little hike. If you into animal watching this place is always filled with various animals depending on the time of year.

It's like a private little forest (almost)

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lots of quail and riparian brush rabbits... good early morning or evening hike... good birding​.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Went yesterday. It was hot, trail is flooded 1/4 mile out, no shade except one tree 1/2 mile away. We were the only car there If that tells you anything. Will not be back.

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

A good portion of the trail is still under water and closed. When I was there the gnats were plentiful but nothing bit me and I saw no mosquitos. Even with the closed sections I was able to get in a 4 mile "out and back" hike in, that was full of Riparian Brush Rabbits and Quail. I will go back so I can see the parts of the Refuge that I missed due to closures for flooding. Very easy hike with no elevation changes.

walking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Easy trail, excellent terrain for families/small children. We like to hike early am, but couldn't start until nearly noon. The mosquitoes/biting bugs are OFF THE HOOK this year, seriously never been but up like this on a hike before. Lots of rabbits, birds, tadpoles, watched catfish spawn in the river - amazing place to watch wildlife - snakes (Uggh). We won't return, the bug bites are awful & snakes aren't for me...could be a great walk/family hike for others though!

walking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This is a nice easy trail for kids, Riparian bunnies and California Quail crisscross in front of you the entire way. You can't do the entire look due to flooding, but still lots of wildlife to see and hear.

walking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

I've been out here a few times this spring. Being so close to modesto makes it great for me. Can't wait for the water to lower so I can do the whole loop

birding
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I recommend going very early to catch the sun rising, makes the view and trail hike more breathtaking. Also may catch the critters(wild rabbits, hawks, squirrels & etc.) coming out and hunting for food. It's quite adorable. Perfect place to take photos of the animals and the scenery. Especially if you like to take photos of variety of birds. Also recommend going around February before spring and winter ends. You'll be able to see the sun( as it rises) melt the icy trail and plants, quite beautiful(that is if you go early). Overall worth it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nice, easy walk. Lots of bunnies & birds. Parts of the trail are currently closed due to flooding, but the main trail is still open. Overall a really great experience. We'll be back for sure.

walking
Monday, July 11, 2016

This is what i like to see. People restoring the San Joaquin river to its natural setting. Beautiful park and grate views of the river! Most of the trail is flat so its good for all ages! Definitely worth the drive out here!!

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