(a.k.a. Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve)
You are invited on a tour, in Lodi, during the “Season of the Sandhill Crane". The season begins with the arrival of the Sandhill Cranes into the Delta and Central Valley in about late September, where they will spend the fall and winter months. Tours consist of viewing Sandhill Cranes and other unique wintering waterfowl, hearing a presentation on the cranes and their Reserve habitat, and viewing the cranes' impressive, nightly behaviors at a location that is only open to the public during these special tours.
NOTE: It is required that you pre-register for your tour as tour size is limited. Reservations open on the first working day of the month at 9 AM for the following month.
ALSO NOTE: A CDFW Lands Pass or a current fishing or hunting license in possession is required to access whenever visiting either unit of the reserve and to access each tour.
Group tours for up to 20 people are available on a limited basis by request
Register(opens in new tab)
After registering for a tour, you will need to purchase your Lands Pass for tour visit. A CDFW Lands Pass or a current fishing or hunting license in possession is required of each tour participant, age 16+.
Once on the Internet Sales website(opens in new tab), select Guest Customer to purchase CDFW One Day Lands Passes at $4.89 each for the specific date you have already registered for your tour - Note: entering as a Guest Customer doesn't require providing any "customer profile" data.
- Continue as Guest
- Select "Purchase licenses"
- Select "daily" or "annual" pass
- Add: Lands Pass
An Annual Lands Pass to access broad CDFW lands for recreational purposes such as bird watching, hiking, etc., is alternatively available.
Tour docents will be checking for a pass or valid license when you arrive for the tour. Full tour access is not allowed without presentation of the document. "Don't leave home without it!"
Visiting Woodbridge ER on your own
Crane Tour Details
The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is divided into two parcels, known as the South Site and North Site. Tours meet 90 minutes before sunset at the South Site where docent guides meet attendees and give a presentation. It is suggested that you bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes for up-close viewing but, you can easily enjoy the cranes with unaided eyes and ears. You may want to bring a light snack and water for your tour.
Portable toilets available. ADA-compliant toilets are available at both sites.
Tours take place rain or shine. Please dress appropriately as you will be outdoors or in an open air shelter the entire time.
Guides may take tour groups down Woodbridge Road via car caravan to see cranes and other wildlife using the grain fields and marshes along the road. Your docent guides are trained in crane ecology, the area's natural history and the Reserve's habitat management, and want your experience to be memorable and educational. Tours usually conclude a half hour after sunset with the anticipated fly-in of the cranes at the North Site where a viewing shelter allows us to be hidden from the incoming birds.
Cranes will be the focus of our tours as they may be observed here under most, but not all conditions. We will also scout for other birds that use the Reserve during the winter months.
A valid fishing, hunting, or CDFW lands pass is required to enter both the south and north viewing locations.
- Directions to South Site (starting point for CDFW docent-led crane tours):
The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve / Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve is 45 minutes driving time from downtown Sacramento or 30 minutes from Stockton.
- From Sacramento, take Interstate 5 south exit on Peltier Road. Turn left under I-5 to the frontage road which is Thornton Road. Turn right (south) on Thornton Road and travel 2 miles to Woodbridge Road. Look for sign “Phil & Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve.” Turn right (west) on Woodbridge Road and continue 2.5 miles to a pullout on left side of road. This is the South unit of Reserve, our meeting area. The tours will begin here with docent introduction.
- From Lodi, SF Bay Area via Hwy 12, Stockton or Los Angeles head north on Interstate 5 and exit on Turner Road. Go left (north) on frontage road which is Thornton Road 1 mile to Woodbridge Road. Look for sign “Phil & Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve.” Turn left (west) on Woodbridge Road and continue 2.5 miles to a pullout on left side of road. This is the South unit of Reserve, our meeting area. The tours will begin here with docent introduction.