Rush Ranch Open Space is a few miles south of Suisun City in southern Solano County. About 2000 acres in size, it is next to Suisun Marsh and not far from Grizzly Island Wildlife Area. There are 3 hiking trails. On a previous visit I had walked two of the trails, and on this visit I walked the third, the Suisun Hill Trail, whose trailhead is just across Grizzly Island Rd from the main entrance to Rush Ranch. It was a pleasant day for a hike, with the temperature about 80 degrees.
The Suisun Hill Trail is a short 1.7-mile semi-loop that goes over and around Suisun Hill, a 212-foot hill at the northwest end of the Potrero Hills. After I completed the loop I continued along Grizzly Island Rd for about ¼ mile before returning to my car, marked by the orange dot on the GPS track.
The trail is relatively compact. There is a short access trail before the loop proper starts. I decided to go left, to travel around the loop in a clockwise direction. Way-finding is straightforward, with “Trail” and arrow signage at each junction (there are a few alternatives). And along the trail there are unmarked 4×4 posts that serve to mark the trail. Traveling clockwise, the trail immediately climbs to the top of the nearby hill, which is Suisun Hill. So I arrived at the highest elevation of the hike quickly, just 0.4 mile from the trailhead.
Because much of the immediate surrounding area is sea-level marshland, the top of a 200-foot hill actually affords some nice views. The row of hills in this view is the Potrero Hills, in their seasonal golden brown hue. They would be lovely in the rainy season. At the right (southeast) end of the hills it is barely possible to see a few of the windmills in the large Shiloh Wind Power Plant.
Looking toward Suisun City there is a nice view across Suisun Marsh, with Suisun Slough making a pretty pattern and the Vaca Mountains behind.
You also have a birds-eye view of the Visitor Center area of Rush Ranch. Two other trails, the Marsh and South Pasture loop trails, start at the Visitor Center.
About 25 miles to the south, Mt Diablo rises dramatically, 3800 feet higher than the intervening marshland and bays. From the relatively high (200-foot) vantage point of Suisun Hill, the connected Suisun, Grizzly, and Honker Bays at the Sacramento River delta are visible.
The hilltop has a couple of benches and sign posts for signage, not currently present. The benches are Boy Scout projects. After enjoying the views I continued along the loop trail down the hill and toward the north end of the loop, where there is a trail junction. At the junction there is a livestock water trough – at least that’s what I presumed it to be. In the picture the Vaca Mountains make a pretty backdrop.
I followed the trail signs along a curve to the south. After about 0.3 mile there was a side trail that angled back up the hillside. I walked up this trail, just to confirm that it intersected the loop trail where I thought it did, and returned to the main loop. After completing the loop I returned along the short access trail to my car. I still wanted to explore a bit more, so I walked up Grizzly Island Rd for about ¼ mile. Alongside the road there were a few wildflowers, including this purple star thistle. While I recognize that star thistles are considered invasive plants, the flower is still pretty.
I also found this pretty yellow flower. The blossom bunches are at the top of quite long (perhaps 24-inch) stems.
One of the reasons I walked up the road was to see if I could get a different perspective on the Potrero Hills. What I discovered was that I got a different perspective on Suisun Hill! From this perspective I’d say it is a pretty gentle and mellow hill.
Though my hike was only 2.2 miles and I took my time to enjoy the views, it turned out to be a pleasant hour-long interlude.