Now that I’m madly in love with my Oru Bay Kayak, I’ve been looking for new places within day-tripping distance to explore (from San Jose). My criteria are that I want places that are scenic, not too crowded, and have access to quiet paddling zones (not just open water). I mainly look for bays, lakes, and sloughs. My folks wanted to meet me with their kayak and celebrate my recent graduation, so I looked for spots along the delta that served as a good mid-point between Grass Valley and San Jose.
I can carry this beauty with one hand! Photo credit: Mom
I found a great new spot in the California Delta just out of Suisun at Belden’s Landing. This is a great spot to launch kayaks since it’s relatively unknown (a few local fisherman around) and is off the Grizzly Island Nature Preserve, so you see a lot of birds and active wildlife along the sloughs. The fee for parking is $5 here, and while they have a credit card machine, it is often out of service – so bring cash!
Kayaking on the delta. Photo credit: Mom
I met my folks here and assembled my kayak, we launched from the dock and explored a few sloughs. We explored west of the landing on the Montezuma Slough, then turned into the first small slough that was deep enough to paddle before resting briefly at a dock and turning back towards the landing.
Checking out sloughs. Photo credit: Lisette
Along the way we saw quite a few birds, though not much in the way of aquatic life. There were also a lot of little vacations homes in disrepair with disintegrating (although somehow still charming) docks along the waterways. Clearly this little community was the summer hunting and fishing getaway for many city folk back in the day.
A nice little dock mid-paddle. Photo credit: Lisette
After our paddle we drove through the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, but found that it was mostly filled with hunt clubs and not much in the way of scenic picnicking areas (as we’d hoped). Nevertheless, we were glad to have explored this little section of the delta and gotten a good few hours of a kayaking in. Fun fact: This preserve is actually named for the grizzly populations that use to migrate through and eat fish back when California actually had a substantial grizzly bear population.
I’m excited to come back and check out other sloughs from this great little spot and check out more of the delta overall!