If you are looking for an all day outing, a place to take your family to experience the “great outdoors”, somewhere that you can literally be a “cowboy” for the day and somewhere that won’t break your budget- then visit Gibson Ranch Park! Located at 8556 Gibson Ranch Road in Elverta, just 30 minutes north of downtown Sacramento, this park really has it all…and more!
I had been to Gibson Ranch on a few separate occasions, but this last time we visited, I was in for a treat. We had the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and took a guided tour of the farm…my kids enjoyed seeing all the animals (ducks, cows, llamas and goats to name a few). The kids especially loved all the horses and we found out that they offer horse riding lessons (for kids 8 and older..so we have a few years still to wait.)
But to our surprise they also allow the little ones to enjoy the thrill of being little cowboys with pony rides! Parents can lead their children on pony rides for a small fee. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the proper attire (flip-flops are my summer staple) and we weren’t able to ride this time around. However, if you want to give your child this fun opportunity then call ahead and secure a reservation for a pony and make sure you wear close-toed shoes so you can take part in the action with your kids.
Not only do they have the farm to explore, but the park is surrounded by over 5 miles of trails that can be used for hiking, biking or horseback riding. The trail also leads you along a scenic view of Dry Creek with stops along the way that are perfect for exploring and splashing in the water.
And if you enjoy fishing, they have a plenty of places for you to cast your pole. Two large ponds are stocked with fish and the creek itself is a great place to try to catch some dinner.
And of course a park isn’t really a park unless they have structures for the kids to climb and play on. They have 2 playgrounds, plenty of picnic areas, BBQ areas and clean bathrooms (a MUST for us mommas!).
Now, the park is great for a day trip- but, if you are someone who enjoys the “thought” of camping, yet doesn’t necessarily want to “rough it” up in the High Sierras- then pack up some clean clothes and stay overnight in one of the cabins at Gibson Ranch. Yes- they even have cabins to rent for a night out on the farm! This is something new that they offer, so you would need to call and speak with them directly- I couldn’t find any information on their website regarding lodging, so if you are interested then call and speak with a member of their staff.
What an experience for the family- hiking, horseback riding, fishing, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground and even staying the night at the park- this could be the start of a new summer tradition for many families!
Call ahead for tours of the farm, to reserve the pony rides and a cabin for overnight stays.
So pack up your lunches, grab your fishing poles and bring your hiking shoes since a day at Gibson Ranch Park is sure to keep you busy!
And don’t forget $5 to park your car and some change to purchase duck and goat food at the general store…have fun!