Most visitors to the Napa Valley come by car across highway 37 and then up highway 121 or highway 29. On all sides of the road are stunning wetlands composed of a diversity of sloughs, wildlife, grasses, and reeds. Perhaps the allure of fabulous wines and foods quickly mask over the wonder of the Napa Sonoma Marsh, but on occasion curiosity sets in and after a quick phone call, a wetlands tour is setup with Wombat Charters.
Because of the size and diversity of the Napa Sonoma Marsh your tour may take many routes through the 48,00-acre wetlands. The wetlands are a maze of interconnected sloughs and wildlife habitats that have been reclaimed from the devastation of industrial salt ponds. In 1994, the ponds were acquired from Cargill Salt by the Wildlife Conservation Board for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The restoration project is described as “a phenomenal ecological restoration, one of the most important coastal wetlands projects ever done in the United States.”
The wetlands are vast, beautiful, and full of stories of ghost towns, paddle boats and the early efforts to settle the Napa Valley. As evening sets the sun casts rivulets of golden reflections. Slowly your tour returns to the Napa River and Cuttings Wharf. A day spent drifting through the wetlands is a unique experience and one you will never forget.