Nature preserves fall back to normal hours

Sequoia Riverlands Trust, the non-profit organization which owns and operates nature preserves throughout Tulare County, is changing preserve hours for the fall and winter season effective Oct. 15.

Kaweah Oaks Preserve will continue to stay open year round seven days per week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Kaweah Oaks Preserve (KOP) is the most popular spot and Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) recently unveiled a new technology trail where visitors can use their smart phones to read QR codes that showcase information about plants and animals.

KOP is located north of Farmersville. From downtown Visalia, take Highway 198 east. Drive north on Road 182 one-half mile. The parking lot is on the west or left side of the road. Walk through the pavilion to enter.

Dry Creek Preserve will re-open seven days per week from 8 a.m. to sunset after a “weekends only” schedule for the summer. Dry Creek Preserve is a former Tulare County gravel quarry, now fully restored to its original beauty.  Its 152 acres are home to SRT’s native plant nursery and the rare sycamore alluvial woodland found in just 17 stands across central California. Dry Creek Preserve is located northeast of Lemon Cove. From Visalia, travel east through Lemon Cove on Highway 198 to Highway 216 (about 18 miles). Take Highway 216 one half mile across the bridge and turn right onto Dry Creek Drive. The preserve is 2 ¼ miles up on your right. Walk through the pavilion to enter.

Homer Ranch will re-open weekends from 8 a.m. to sunset after being closed for the summer due to fire danger. Homer Ranch is three miles north of Dry Creek Preserve and protects 1,819 acres of foothill grasslands and oak woodlands along a two-mile stretch of Dry Creek. From Visalia, travel east on Highway 198. Take Highway 216 toward Woodlake. Follow west one-half mile and turn north on Dry Creek Road.  The Homer Ranch preserve is located five miles down on your right.

Dogs are allowed on all preserves on leash only and owners must pick up after them. Waste bags are provided at the Kaweah Oaks and Dry Creek sites. Please use established parking areas rather than parking along the county roads.

SRT is a regional, non-profit land trust dedicated to conserving the natural and agricultural legacy of the southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley.

To date, SRT has protected more than 11,343 acres. SRT owns and manages six nature preserves that protect 4,069 acres of remnant landscapes, woodland communities and wildlife habitat, much of it grazed by cattle.

For more information, visit http://www.sequoiariverlands.org/index.html

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