Showing posts with label Bird Watching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bird Watching. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, NV - Wilbur D. May Museum, Arboretum, Botanical Garden, & More



Click to Enlarge Trail Map


Wilbur D. May Center
1595 N Sierra Street
Reno, NV 89503

Museum: (775) 785-5961
Arboretum: (775) 785-4153
Park Ranger Office: (775) 785-4512

Helpful Links
Wilbur D. May Arboretum Brochure (map and descriptions of areas)

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is Reno's largest and most dynamic park.  The park is home to Reno's Great Balloon races, Wilbur D. May Museum, Wilbur D. May Arboretum, multi-purpose fields including off-leash dog areas, miles of hiking trails, Herman's Fish Pond, reservable pavilions, and many special events like the Dragon Lights Festival.

In the park, you can find Wilbur D. May Museum, a pretty special part of Reno, with it's neat gift shop and historical and traveling exhibits.  The museum preserves the life of Wilbur D. May, a world traveler who collected thousands of artifacts throughout the span of his life and brought them back to his home here in Reno.  Though small, the museum is packed with so much to see and is a favorite among locals.  The Hall of Heroes, Dragons, and old-fashioned video game-themed events are only a few of the many events you can find here, some recurring and some only passing through, only happening once. 

The Arboretum (right next to the museum) is tranquil and beautiful, with lots of labeled trees and plants.  Paved trails and shade in the Arboretum area provide relief from the blazing hot summer sun, allowing for families to enjoy the outdoors for extended amounts of time.  There are many beautiful gazebos in the arboretum area and a beautiful waterfall that contribute to it's tranquil atmosphere. 

In the same area, you can travel back in time with the kids and play at the Dinosaur playground with huge dinosaur swings and a slide (next to the restroom area).  Big trees shade the area and make this playground among the top playgrounds on my list.  Also available is a wood playground close by next to the pond and one next to the large open grass field next to the second parking lot, further away from the park entrance on North Sierra Street.

The park's wide-open spaces and amenities make this park ideal for large and small gatherings, events, outdoor sports, and more.   

I always encounter people from all walks of life here- joggers, hikers, nature lovers, dog walkers, couples, families and it's no wonder why.  It has everything one would look for in a park and more.  We are so lucky to have this special park in our big little city.  

Notes:
-Stroller and wheelchair friendly
-Museum-Wildlife Displays, African Primitive Art. Ta'an Dynasty Pottery, Egyptian Artifacts, European Silver
-Indoor Garden Features- A centerpiece waterfall, a koi fish pond, seasonal flower gardens, rotating exhibits
-available for weddings and parties
-Call park to reserve pavilions for parties
-25 acre off leash dog park(bring towel as they can easily get dirty)
-Rose Garden in Arboretum
-Large Grassy Areas ideal for kite flying
-larger children's playground near grass field, playground next to Herman's Pond, Dinosaur playground next to museum parking lot
-Gazebo
-Exercise course around grass area
-filled with wildlife
-No dogs allowed in the Arboretum
-Shade is mostly in the Arboretum area
-A small creek runs through the park
-ideal for photo shoots 
-Ideal for parties
-Great for picnicking. Tables with BBQ located next to playground, next to open grassy field.  





Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Enjoy Wildlife at Virginia Lake Park in Reno, NV


1980 Lakeside Dr

Reno, NV 89509



In this 32-acre, beautifully landscaped park that has a man-made lake, you will find tranquility, beautiful houses, and wildlife (Pigeons, Geese, Crows, Double Crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, and California Gulls).

Virginia Lake is like a setting you'd find next to a beach, with the plenty scents of nature, sounds of water (from fountains) and activity of birds overhead and all around.

The short, flat loop,1-mile-trail is lined with parking and houses and is a pleasure to walk, with so much scenery and birds to enjoy.


The park offers many amenities: 
-Grassy area with two play structures, swings, and a small stage for play
-rentable pavilion with BBQ (100 person capacity)
-trees lining lake provide partial shade in summer
-restrooms (year round) 
-exercise area
-pier
-fishing
-benches lining the lake
-bird watching
-dog park (all dirt so not ideal in wet conditions)
-picnic areas
-lake
-dog waste station

Notes:
-This is not the park for you if you get bothered by bird droppings- they're everywhere
-ice cream truck parks in front of the playgrounds during summer
-there's multiple areas shaded by trees for picnicking
-there's a giant dragonfly statue on the northside of the lake
-there's a cool island in the center that has tons of birds
-dog friendly but must be kept on leash
-in addition to a paved trail is a concentric dirt trail that goes all around the lake
-stroller and wheelchair friendly
-no bikes and horses allowed on path
-no smoking or vaping
-There's a cool area next to pier that has a cute stone-benched garden
-lots of flora to look at
-there are designated feeding areas for wild birds (one on each end)
-there's a small parking lot next to exercise area
-within walking distance from Peppermill, theater, and restaurants
-people like to picnic in their cars while watching scenery
-not ideal for dogs that tend to eat poop




Photos
©Katherine Fung,
All Rights Reserved.