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The Tule Maze of Anderson Marsh

Peaceful paddling amidst 6-7 miles of tule marsh bordering a wildlife nature preserve. Excellent birding opportunities.
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  A favorite among birdwatchers, this is a scenic loop around Indian Island into the tule marshes of Anderson Marsh State Park, and... more »

Tips:  While the marsh itself is quite calm, be aware that winds can whip up large waves in the open waters off Redbud Park.

Best time to... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Redbud Park Boat Launch in Clearlake

The loop begins at the Redbud Park Boat Launch, located at 14655 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake.

2. Indian Island

As you cross the lake, an island emerges from the background. Indian Island was once a major village and community center for the Southeastern Pomo, housing as many as 1000 inhabitants. While the island is now privately-owned, a portion of these cultural resources are protected by the State Park System through a conservation easement. The extended... More

3. Great Picnic Spot at McVicar Wildlife Sanctuary

Paddle around the back side of Indian Island, heading south. To your right, is the beginning of McVicar Wildlife Santuary, now part of Anderson Marsh State Park. A nice sandy beach off the tules is an inviting picnicking spot . Notice the volcanic rock of Indian Island; it is part of the formation known as Dacite of Thurston Creek. Lava eruptions ... More

4. Entering Anderson Marsh State Park

After (4) you will encounter very little motorized boat traffic. Kick back and enjoy the quiet, interspersed with sounds of nature. Rolling hills and vineyards are visible to the south. These hills are also lava flows, part of the formation know as the Basaltic andesite of Round Top Mountain. Much younger in age; the flows started erupting roughly... More

5. The Tule Maze

Birds commonly seen are grebes, white pelicans, herons, coots, mallards and egrets with the occasional sighting of bald eagle and peregrine falcon.

In the spring, please be aware of bird nests amongst the tules and keep a respectful distance. This area is a grebe-nesting site. Flocks of white pelicans are also a common site at this location,... More

6. Entrance to Cache Creek at Garner Island

To head back to the boat launch, loop around the east side of Garner Island.

7. Picnic spot at North Flats, Anderson Marsh

A great spot to stop and picnic is at another launch spot at the back entrance of Anderson Marsh - the North Flats.