For those who like to walk or run (or walk with dogs) around Dixon there’s a certain out-of-the-way spot known to only a lucky few. But not that out-of-the-way – it’s right on the edge of town. I’m afraid that revealing it will bring too many visitors and ruin the wild solitude, but then I’ve never been very good about keeping secrets.
The City of Dixon maintains a storm-water holding area just beyond the southernmost homes and apartments in the city – and to the west of Dixon High School and Hwy. 113. You’d never see it driving because it’s hidden behind a levee. To get to it, drive to the western end of Parkway Boulevard from Hwy. 113. You’ll see a small, city-owned building there, and a parking spot next to it for two or three cars. Next to that lot, you’ll see a gate opening in the fence that surrounds the water containment area. Enter through the gate and walk up to a gravel road on top the levee.
The road runs around the entire water holding area in a loop, and as I recall, you’re not always walking on top the levee (at times, the levee is between the road and the watery, marshy areas). On the other side of the loop road (which is about 1.2 miles long) are agricultural areas of fields and orchards. The road runs alongside Porter Road for a while.
In the dry portions of the year there are only several ponds inside the containment area. But this year, with all the rain, the ponds have been expanding greatly in size.
In you’re into birdwatching, you’ll see quite a variety of birds, with Canada geese being the most populous. With more water this year, there should be a greater variety of ducks. The most interesting animal I’ve seen is a river otter living in the pond on the northwest corner of the containment area (see the photos accompanying this blog). I have no idea how it came to live there, unless it was deliberately introduced. There are also rabbits.
You might want to add this pleasant loop to your roster of walking routes. It’s great to be able to get so close to nature right on the edge of the city.
All the bird pictures attached to this blog were shot along the walking route, with the exception of the vultures which were photographed nearby, over near Dixon High School.