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Rodman Slough

A serene 8-mile paddling trip through wetlands, by scenic ridgelines filled with rich wildlife.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 8.016 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  A peaceful excursion through Rodman Slough — passing Great Blue Heron and Double-Crested Cormorant rookeries (nesting areas)— to the... more »

Tips:  This route is best taken in winter, spring, or early summer. Late summer and fall can bring intense sun, low water levels, mud flats, ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Rodman Slough Parking Lot and Launch

The water trail is accessed via a soft launch located just across the street from the parking lot at Rodman Slough County Park. It is not uncommon to hear the sounds of loud chirping; look up to see the huge osprey nest atop a telephone pole adjacent to the parking lot (P). The extension pole was installed by PG&E, to protect nesting birds... More

2. The confluence - great spot for migratory birds

Set off from the launch at the slough side of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Bridge. The first part of the paddle passes by the original Rodman Ranch and Slough, preserved by the Lake County Land Trust in 1998. The wetland areas of Rodman Slough and the surrounding oak woodlands are home to a large Great Blue Heron rookery. This dramatic bird, which... More

3. Bloody Island Historical Marker

Continue a little ways and just before your first mile, you will see a small canal opening to the left. If you choose to paddle straight ahead without turning, after one mile, you will reach a dead end. Not visible from the slough is nearby Bloody Island, the site of a huge massacre in the spring of 1850. For years, white settlers had enslaved and... More

4. Left turn through a downed tree

Just over half a mile into the paddle, you will reach a confluence (2) - take the center route. Continue a little ways and just before your first mile, you will see a small canal opening to the left (4). Turning left, you will paddle through some downed trees to enter into the main route of Rodman Slough.

The water is gentle here, and sounds of ... More

5. Middle Creek & Scotts Creek Fork

At roughly 2.5 miles into the paddle, you will come to a fork, where Middle Creek (5) enters on the right. Stay to the left.

6. Bridge Arbor Bridge Remnants

Shortly past Middle Creek, you will see large cement pilings on each side of the slough; these are remnants of the Bridge Arbor Bridge, a great spot to stretch or have lunch (6). Scramble up the south side where a massive cement picnic table sits under a shady oak, overlooking the slough. During the later summer and fall, the water level may not... More

7. Tule Lake Culvert

Continuing on another mile, you will cross under the Highway 29 overpass. Note the numerous mud swallow nests that line the underside.

Continue paddling for another half mile, and you will reach your turning point, a dead end at the culvert to Tule Lake (7).

In the winter, Scotts Creek overflows its banks, forming Tule Lake, a seasonal lake... More