Rush Ranch is a 2,070-acre open space managed by the Solano Land Trust that offers exciting exploration opportunities for all ages. The working ranch, located in the Potrero Hills along Grizzly Island Road in the Suisun Marsh, features a visitor center, blacksmith shop, historical ranching equipment, hiking trails and birding opportunities.
Rush Ranch is bordered on one side by the Suisun Marsh, an extremely vital component of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. Rush Ranch has won countless loyal hearts with its vast open spaces of rolling grasslands, it’s serene tranquility, it’s history, and it’s abundance of bird and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Before European settlement in California, Patwin Native Americans summered on this property for thousands of years. The Suisunes, a sub tribe of the Patwins, likely hunted tule elk, grizzly bears and waterfowl, fished in the Suisun slough, and gathered plants for food and medicine. It is estimated that there were about 2,300 Patwins living in the area of Solano County in 1800.
For most of the 20th century, the ranch was operated by the Rush family, and unlike other landowners adjacent to the Suisun Marsh, they did not significantly alter the tidal action on their property. With most tidal marshes in the United States managed or filled, their decision to leave the marsh to natural tidal ebbs and flows has proven to be an important contribution to tidal marsh science. Purchased by Solano Land Trust in 1988 with a grant from the Coastal Conservancy, Rush Ranch was designated as part of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in 2003.
Within the property’s boundaries is one of the best remaining examples of a brackish tidal marsh habitat in the United States. It is an important habitat for fish, bird and plant species. The habitat at Rush Ranch is exceptionally rich in vegetation and wildlife, supporting more than 200 species and 47 families of plants, 15 mammal species and 230 bird species.
Rush Ranch is open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission and parking is always free. Come admire the horses that call the ranch home. There are also owls, hawks and other wildlife nesting on and around the ranch.