Visit American Canyon for fun outdoor adventures with a taste of the bay and easy access to a wide range of natural habitat. No matter if you’re local and looking for an escape from your daily hustle-and-bustle, or are here on vacation and looking to get an intimate look at a slice of Californian habitat, the breathtaking Jack & Bernice Newell Open Space Preserve and Wetlands Edge both offer natural means towards finding the relaxation and reinvigoration you may be looking for.
Jack & Bernice Newell Open Space Preserve
Trails & Activities:
These trails are primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, horseback riding and wildlife observation trips. The Newell Open Space Preserve has a main 5.3 mile lightly trafficked return loop at the center of the 642-acre park, with some additional short treks that shoot out from the loop. With a gradual elevation climb of 816 ft. the trail is considered moderate by hiking standards and provides great exercise with minimal strain for most. Kid friendly, but please keep your dogs at home, we don’t want to disturb the indigenous species! More information and resources on the Newell Open Space Preserve can be found here.
The first mile of the trail quickly transports you away from civilization with its endlessly lush green farmland (seasonally dependent). Continuing further along you’ll find yourself in many photo-worthy moments along the trail, including a decaying barn in the foothills, a wide range of birds, cattle grazing on the property, coast live oak, bay laurel woodlands, wildflowers and rolling grasslands. Incredible views of the San Pablo Bay are to be had on a clear day, and another gorgeous open space, Lynch Canyon, comes into view during a scenic portion of the trail where you descend along the border of the two parks as you return to the trailhead.
The walk-up trailhead (the handle to the lollipop) is located at the northern dead-end of Newell Road, a block north of where Newell Road and Donaldson Way meet. It can be accessed by foot, bike or car with parking where the trails start, however the trail itself is underdeveloped so we recommend bringing a copy of this map to help guide your way. It’s open all year round and tends to have very low congestion, perfect for those that appreciate peace and quiet on the trail. Be aware that closures do happen for seasonal, maintenance, and natural reasons, so please plan accordingly.
Trails & Activities:
Following the serene Napa-Sonoma Marsh shoreline, the flat marshland and trails of Wetlands Edge make it not only a great option for walking, hiking and running for all ages and skill levels, but also road and mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing. There are plenty of sights to see, including our own mini “glass beach”, and the area is known for excellent bird watching. The easy year-round access to the area enables the rare opportunity to repeatedly watch families of birds as they go through their entire cycle. More information and resources on Wetlands Edge can be found here.
A great place to be at sunrise, sunset, and in between, Wetlands Edge offers views across the beautiful San Pablo Bay to Marin County, the Napa River, and even the Golden Gate Bridge when it isn’t blanketed in fog. It’s worth bringing lunch or a snack as taking a moment to take in the lovely views while eating at one of the many picnic tables is time well spent.
Located in and around the western portion of American Canyon, Wetlands Edge can be accessed by foot, bike and car along the entirety of Wetlands Edge Road as well as at the western end of Eucalyptus Drive. There are two trailheads, one at the intersection of Wetlands Edge Road and Eucalyptus Drive, where there are porta-potties and paved parking, and the other at the end of Green Island road where you will have access to a kayak and canoe launch ramp. As the wetlands stretch so far, there are far more access points than just these and this map will help you find trails and convenient points of entry.
The city of American Canyon is fortunate to be nestled amongst such beautiful and peaceful natural habitats. Any time spent in our city should include taking advantage of these quintessentially Californian surroundings as there aren’t too many opportunities to experience such wide-ranging wilderness this easily. We’re as proud of what we’ve built in American Canyon as what we’ve preserved. We invite you to take full advantage of all that we have to offer in our neck of the woods.