Elkhorn Slough

Neil Wiley


A pleasant paddle

In August (07), Jenny Yamate led a kayaking adventure in Elkhorn Slough for members of Summit Whole Body Fitness. We enjoyed a cool day, kayaking through the tidal wetland home of sea otters, harbor seals, and hundreds of bird species. Although it was the first trip for many kayakers, no one flipped. In fact, all found it remarkably easy and comfortable. The secret was a short orientation, optional wet suits and jackets, and stable sit-on-top and recreational kayaks, all provided by Monterey Bay Kayaks (1-800-649-5357). The only problem was overeating the larger-than-life-size portions at the Moss Landing restaurant Philís.

Of course, this isnít the only way to see Elkhorn Slough. You can ride into the slough on a pontoon boat, the Elkhorn Safari. (This is a good option for photographers, families with small children, and those unable to walk or paddle.) For more information about the Elkhorn Safari, call 831-633-5555. (For more details, visit the MNN website, click on Hikes and other explorations, then click again on Elkhorn Slough by boat and trail.)

Although it sounds yucky, you can walk trails through the upper slough. Overlooks, piers, and bridges to islands get you close to a wide assortment of sea and land birds.

To reach the visitor center and trails, take Highway 1 south from Santa Cruz to the Moss Landing power plant. Turn left on Dolan Road, then left on Elkhorn Road. Watch for reserve signs on the left. For more information, call the visitor center at 831-728-2822.


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