Several of Reno's hidden gems seem to go totally against the typical gaming scene. The city actually has over a dozen parks along the Truckee River that runs right through downtown Reno, and one of the most hidden is the Oxbow Nature Study Area. Not only is this park a wonderful place to see local wildlife, but it tends to stay hidden because of its unusual location.The Oxbow Nature Study Area is located at the very end of Dickerson Road, off of 2nd Street-one mile west of downtown Reno. From I-80 exit Keystone Avenue. Travel south on Keystone Avenue. Turn right onto West 2nd Street. Follow West 2nd Street until it becomes Dickerson Road, then follow Dickerson Road to the park entrance.
The park contains a 1/3 mile-long wheelchair accessible nature trail with various wooden bridges and platforms to look out over the trees and bushes along the river. Parts of the trail run next to the river and are perfect locations for fishing for rainbow trout. You might also see beavers, mule deer, Great blue heron, Cooper's hawk and California quail.
Parking and public transportation at Oxbow Nature Study Area
There is parking for about 30 vehicles at the Oxbow Nature Study area. The Regional Transportation Commission bus line #16 runs along 2nd Street and stops near the park.
Best and worst time go to Oxbow Nature Study Area
The Oxbow Nature Study Area is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and the best time to go is early in the morning or early evening when the animals are out looking for food. The worst time to go is usually the middle of a weekday when the park can be full of local school classes.
Admission to Oxbow Nature Study Area
The park and study area is free to the public, the park also has free docent tours offered by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Must see/do at Oxbow Nature Study Area
One of the best things to do at Oxbow is just explore the area. The visitor's center in the parking lot has free brochures that will guide you through the area.
Other places to visit near Oxbow Nature Study Area
Dickerson Road is fast becoming Reno's underground arts and bar scene. On your way to the park check out Sierra Water Gardens and their beautiful landscaping-available for weddings and special events. Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Oxbow Cafe & Bistro.
Insider tip for visitors to Oxbow Nature Study Area
During the summer, the Truckee River become a popular tubing and swimming area. Oxbow is a great place to not only view the tubers but there are several good swimming holes.
Author's bio: Christina Nellemann is longtime Reno resident who writes about the area for USA Today/10Best and 7x7SF. She loves to escape to the Oxbow Nature Study area on warm spring days.