Suggestions for planning your travels on the Delta Farm and Winery Trail
All driving routes can be combined at the central river crossing of Paintersville Bridge, just south of Courtland, for extended adventures through the Delta. There are several things listed below the driving routes that will make your trip into the Delta more enjoyable.
Equipment & Bird Displays, Fruit, Eggs, Vegetables, Olive Oil/ Vinegar, Wine
Exit I-5 at Thornton Rd and head East into town. Turn left on Thornton Rd to head North to Consumnes River Farm. [caption id="attachment_1003" align="alignright" width="300"] Historic Locke built in 1915[/caption] The farm is on the left shortly after passing New Hope Rd and features their Bellindora Olive Oil and Vinegars and District 12 wines. After visiting, head back to I-5 and continue west on Walnut Grove-Thornton Rd to Walnut Grove. Continue west on Walnut Grove-Thornton Rd, you will come to a stop sign at the Walnut Grove bridge. Continue straight (north) on River Rd to drive through Walnut Grove. You will pass the locks that help direct migrating salmon when closed, before entering Locke. In Locke, you can turn on Locke Rd and then right on Main St to drive through or stop and visit Locke Foundation (Associate Member) in Historic Locke. Locke is one of the last surviving Chinese communities in California, originally built in 1915. Upon leaving Locke, turn left (south) on River Rd to head back to the Walnut Grove bridge. At the second stop sign, turn right, cross the bridge, and turn left (south) onto Hwy 160. Drive to the tiny town of Ryde and turn right (west) on Hwy 220 to cross the middle of Grand Island. The large pink building on the corner is the Ryde hotel. Hwy 220 will dead-end on the other side of the island at Grand Island Rd. [caption id="attachment_1889" align="alignright" width="300"] J Mack Ferry between Grand Island and Ryer Island[/caption] Turn left (north) onto Grand Island Rd. Shortly, you will pass the J- Mack ferry. For a unique special experience, drive onto the J-Mack car ferry for a free ride across Steamboat Slough to Ryer Island. Turn left (south) on Ryer Island Rd, then turn left onto Snug Harbor Dr to visit or stay at the waterfront Snug Harbor Resort (Associate Member). There are camping, RV sites, and cottages available for rent as well as a marina. Drive back to the ferry, cross the slough, and turn left (north) on Grand Island Rd, pass the Grand Island Mansion, to Double M Farms/ McDowell Hunting Preserve for to view pheasants in the gamebird aviary or various farm equipment year round, fresh eggs from free-range chicken available all year and a variety of fruits throughout the summer and Fall, or hunting of pheasants, chukar, and quail Fall through early Spring. During pear harvest (mid July), the pear U-Pick is great for kids. The Victorian house at Double M Farms was built in 1876. After visiting, continue north on Grand Island Rd 2 miles to the reach the yellow Steamboat Slough Bridge. Turn right on Hwy 160 and immediately enter Grand Island Vineyards on weekends for wine tasting or turn left to cross the bridge and immediately turn left on Sutter Island Rd to enter Steamboat Acres. Tour the organic pear and cherry orchards (Summer only) or enjoy some time on the beach, fishing or picnicking. [caption id="attachment_1089" align="alignright" width="268"] Equipment display along levee at Wallace Chan Farms[/caption]
From Steamboat Slough bridge, continue north on Hwy 160 (north) to the next bridge. Cross, the yellow Paintersville Bridge, and turn left (north) to continue on Hwy 160- River Rd. Shortly, you will pass through Courtland, home of the Delta Pear Fair, always the last Sunday in July. You will see the historic Courtland Bank building and the Masonic lodge built in the 1920’s from the highway. Turn right down the road like driveway right after the Courtland Market and turn left to park and view the informative farm equipment display along the foot of the levee of Wallace Chan Farms Inc.
Upon leaving, you can turn right (north) along Hwy 160 to connect to the East Driving route. To stay on this route, turn left (south) onto Hwy 160- River Rd. Go straight from the stop sign at the Paintersville Bridge on River Rd to visit Hemly Cider. You will turn down the driveway and through the pear orchard to their tasting room. After Hemly Cider, continue south on River Rd. As you drive, you will pass pear and cherry orchards and vineyards along the road; and alfalfa and corn fields more in the middle of the island. The middle of the islands tend to be lower ground than the edges by the levees. Continue south on River Rd and you will pass by River Pear Orchards (not open to public yet). At the stop sign, turn left (east) on Twin Cities Rd. On Twin Cities Rd. you will pass by pears, alfalfa, wine grapes and by one of several trucking companies that haul agricultural products in and out of the Delta. Watch for trucks entering and exiting. Next you will pass a large antennae tower. This is the center point that you see on TV weather when Doppler radar is shown. After crossing Snodgrass Slough Bridge, you will pass John McCormick Co. where they grow pears. McCormick’s sell their pears at several of the Farmer’s markets. When you reach I-5, you will notice a solar farm on the left. This farm is owned by S-Energy America and supplies power to SMUD. For those looking for a place to stay, continue down Twin Cities Rd to Hwy 99 in Galt to the Comfort Inn & Suites Galt- Lodi North (Associate member).
Fruits, Vegetables, Wine, Olive Oil & Vinegar, Eggs, Baked Goods, Honey
At the intersection of Hwy 160 and Hwy 12, next to the Rio Vista Bridge, visit Delta Farmers Market for a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, wine, beer, eggs, honey, baked goods, and packaged local goods. Continue north on Hwy 160 and to the town of Isleton. On weekends, stop in at the Isleton Chamber of Commerce (Associate Member) to pick up more Delta information. As you continue north on Hwy 160, you will pass the Riverside Elevators, mainly corn and wheat grain storage, and the yellow Isleton Bridge. Turn left to cross the bridge, which you will continue on Hwy 160 and drive up the west side of the river pass the tiny town of Ryde, and on to the town of Walnut Grove. You may also connect to the other tour routes by staying on Hwy 160 to the Painterville Bridge near Courtland. In Walnut Grove, turn right to cross the green Walnut Grove Bridge.*
[caption id="attachment_1250" align="alignright" width="300"] Ryde[/caption]
After crossing, turn right (south) on River Rd and then left onto Walnut Grove- Thornton Rd to go to I-5. Before entering on the freeway, make one last stop at Consumnes River Farm. Drive under the freeway and turn left on N Thornton Rd. The farm is on the left shortly after passing New Hope Rd and features their Bellindora Olive Oil and Vinegars and District 12 wines.
To return to Hwy 12 or Hwy 4 by Hwy 160, drive back towards Walnut Grove and turn left, before entering town, onto Isleton Rd to cross the flat bridge and turn right on Isleton Rd. You will pass pear and cherry orchards. At the yellow Isleton Bridge, Isleton Rd becomes Hwy 160.
*Alternatively from the Walnut Grove Bridge, turn left (north) on Hwy 160-River Rd to drive through Walnut Grove. You will pass the locks that help direct migrating salmon when closed, before entering Locke. In Locke, you can turn on Locke Rd and then right on Main St to drive through or stop and visit the Locke Foundation (Associate Member) in Historic Locke. Locke is one of the last surviving Chinese communities in California, originally built in 1915. Then you can drive back to Walnut Grove to continue on the South loop. [caption id="attachment_1003" align="alignright" width="300"] Historic Locke built in 1915[/caption]
West Side River Loop
Head south on Jefferson Blvd and turn left onto Clarksburg Rd to visit Julietta Winery. Bring a picnic to enjoy while viewing the coast range. Then continue east on Clarksburg Rd to the town of Clarksburg. When the road deadends at the river, turn left onto S River Rd. While driving on S River Rd, you will see the backside of the Old Sugar Mill (Associate Member), originally built in 1934. Turn left onto Willow Point Rd and then left onto Willow Ave to reach the Old Sugar Mill to experience wine tasting at Heringer Estates Vineyards & Winery and Clarksburg Wine Company and other boutique wineries all in one historic location.
Continuing down South River Rd to County Road 141, following the signs to Bogle Vineyards & Winery, a very special place, nestled among the vineyards against Elk Slough. From Bogle, continue south on South River Rd. As you drive, you will be able to see the river side of the old Stillwater Orchard Cold Storage Plant in Hood. Fruit growers would store their product there to keep it cool until it was loaded onto trains to be shipped around the country. Today it is an event center and estate sale location. As you continue driving,* turn right on Courtland Rd (west) and then right (north) onto Jefferson Blvd to return to West Sacramento. On Jefferson Blvd you will pass the new Bogle facility (not open to the public) on the left side of the road. To finish up with a special Delta sunset, turn right on Clarksburg Rd to return to Julietta Winery to view the amazing sunsets before heading home.
*You may also connect to the other tour routes by staying on South River Road to the Paintersville Bridge near Courtland.
East Side River Loop
Wine, Vegetables, Pears, Fruit, Eggs,
Leaving Sacramento, exit I-5 at the Cosumnes River Blvd exit, turn right (west) and then left onto Freeport Blvd to travel through the town of Freeport. If hungry, stop by the Freeport Bar & Grill (Associate Member) and then travel six miles, passing by a grove of Elm trees, planted in the 1920s as a memorial to locals that lost their lives in World War I, until you reach Scribner Bend Vineyard. At Scribner Bend Vineyard, wine tasting is complemented by their beautiful grounds, pizza, and music on some weekends. Scribner Bend is a popular place for weddings. Continue south, (Freeport Blvd. is now Hwy160/River Rd.) 1 mile to R. Kelly Farms’ Fresh and Healthy (summer only) for farm-fresh produce, either U-Pick or purchase from their stand. Then head further south just a half mile to Maggi’s Farm during pear season (July-Aug) to stop and pick up some fresh Bartlett pears. Continuing south 2 miles to the town of Hood, you will pass a variety of fruit orchards and vineyards. As you enter Hood, relax at Hood Ranch Kitchen (Associate Member). Across the street is The Willow Ballroom (Associate Member), a great event venue location. It is housed in the original Stillwater Orchard Cold Storage Plant. Fruit growers would store their product there to keep it cool until it was loaded onto trains to be shipped around the country.
If you would like to continue on another driving route, keep driving on Hwy 160 River Road to the yellow Painterville Bridge just south of Courtland, otherwise head east on Hood-Franklin Rd, and drive through Hood. Shortly after leaving town, look for the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on your right. This is a great place to check out vernal pools and take a self- guided walk around the grounds. During the spring and fall you usually can see flocks of geese foraging and resting. After the refuge, but before the freeway, turn right on Stone Lake Rd, to pick up your pre-ordered produce and eggs at Stone Lake Farm. When leaving, make a right back onto Hood-Franklin Rd, you should be able to see I-5, go across the overpass to reach the I-5 N entrance to take you back to Sacramento.
Things to Remember
- Bring an ice chest to keep produce and wine cool on warm days.
- Have a full tank of gas; the only gas stations are in the towns of Walnut Grove and Rio Vista.
- Cash only at most farms.
- Watch for slow moving tractors and large trucks hauling products on the farm and on roadways. Slow down on roads and pass only when appropriate and safe
- Read farm signs/information/rules before going out on the farm.
- On the farm, remain in marked designated areas for your safety. Farms are an active operation.
- Follow all food safety procedures as posted by the farm.
- Please deposit trash in provided trash containers or take it with you.
- Don’t climb trees or ladders.
- You are responsible for your children and pets. Check to see if pets are allowed.
- Respect the property of our members.
- If not sure, ask questions of what’s appropriate.