Put a spring in your step at these 6 regional nature spots blanketed with wildflowers right now

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Our state flower, the California poppy, happily blooms at Hidden Falls Regional Park. Photo by Rachel Alvarez.

The wildflower bloom that started in the Southern California deserts in February has moved its way up to the Sacramento region, where lush blankets of poppies, hyacinth, lupine and other colorful blossoms are now coming into full flourish. Since spending time outdoors—while observing physical distancing, of course—is still considered an essential activity, why not take in nature’s colorful canvas at these 6 wildflower-rich spots around the region that are still welcoming visitors during the quarantine. To keep the petals thriving for visitors over the next couple of weeks, use best viewing practices by staying on paths and taking only photos.

Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve

The Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve, located near the aptly named Scenic Heights neighborhood in Carmichael, reveals stunning displays of poppies and lupines along the banks of the American River. $5 per car. 2850 San Lorenzo Way. Carmichael. sacnaturecenter.net

Hidden Falls Regional Park

The foothill views along the eponymous 3.2-mile-long main trail at Hidden Falls Regional Park near Auburn are now more lavish, thanks to the fiery orange blanket of California poppy and the lush green covering of miner’s lettuce. Advanced parking reservation required ($8 for full day; $4 for partial day). 7587 Mears Pl. Auburn. placer.ca.gov

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

Located along the causeway between Sacramento and Davis, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is a stop on the Pacific Flyway, a migratory route for North American birds that rest among such wetland wildflowers as yellow sweetclover and wild onion blossoms at the 3,700-acre reserve. 45211 Co Rd 32B. Davis. wildlife.ca.gov

UC Davis Arboretum

Along the UC Davis Arboretum’s 3.6-mile main trail you can find wildflowers like yarrow, a natural medicinal wonder; bee-loving madia elegans; and a wide variety of California natives currently in bloom, like the western redbud. 1046 Garrod Dr. Davis. arboretum.ucdavis.edu

South Yuba River State Park

The recently reopened Buttermilk Bend Trail at South Yuba River State Park is a well-maintained, all-levels route with vistas of white water rapids below and hillsides of tufted poppies, narrow-leaf lupines, and lace pods. 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd. Penn Valley. southyubariverstatepark.org

Mather Regional Park Vernal Pools

The wildflowers in bloom at this 1,600-acre park include purple wild hyacinth and sunny Fremont’s tidy-tips, which form a lush bank around the signature vernal pools. $5 per car. 4111 Old Eagle’s Nest Road. Mather. regionalparks.saccounty.net

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