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Stories from the valley

Birds, Goats and Beer in Placer County

Contributed by Ellen Martin

School is out, the days are longer, the weather is warmer – all signs that it’s summer in the valley. Keeping the kids active and entertained (while mom and dad get to enjoy themselves, too) is our family’s top goal this time of year. And we found two great spots in Placer County where we can do just that.

Our first stop was Traylor Ranch Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary in Loomis. This place is a hidden gem of well maintained nature trails lined with bird houses and native habitat that attracts a ton of birds. We also saw a butterflies and dragonflies as well as other little insects that my explorers would point out.

The trails are made for hiking and horses so the paths are pretty wide and the ground is very even. Both are great for little hikers in your group. Just be sure to note, there are no restrooms at the nature reserve – another important fact for hiking with kids.

After exploring the trails at Traylor Ranch we headed to GoatHouse Brewery in Lincoln for lunch and a beer.

GoatHouse Brewery grows hops on site and uses fruit from their orchard for making their beer – making it truly local. The have a pond near the tasting room where the kids looked for fish and watched the geese. But the best part for the kids was the goats.

With the goats, a donkey and two pigs right near the outside patio, the kids were entertained. The brewery even sells buckets of carrots to feed the goats – or you can bring your own. The kids learned that the goats only liked to be hand fed and the big ones pushed their way out front for the food, while the little “kid” goats liked to use the donkey and the pigs as climbing structures.

A true family farm, GoatHouse Brewery made our whole family feel welcome. The owners daughter is going to be showing the pigs at the Placer County Fair (next weekend June 22-25) and it seemed that their whole family was involved in the operation of the farm and brewery.

Oh, and the beer was pretty delicious too. It was a great weekend day trip in Placer County!