FAIRFIELD — With plenty of sunshine and warm days throughout the year, residents can get out and enjoy the fine Solano weather.
Here’s a look recreational options in and around Solano County:
Fairfield’s Linear Park, which runs through Fairfield to Solano Community College, is a popular cycling area for beginning riders and families, as well as inline skaters.
Mountain bike enthusiasts can challenge the hills at Rockville Hills Park.
Popular touring routes include the Gordon Valley Loop (along Gordon Valley, Mankas, Wooden Valley, Suisun Valley and Rockville roads) and along Pleasants Valley Road from Vacaville to Lake Solano and back.
Those interested in cycling as part of an organized group can contact the Solano Family Cycling Club via email at [email protected], or the Monticello Cycling Club.
Boating and fishing
Contact the state department of Fish and Game at 425-3828 or 944-5500 for regulations and restrictions at various sites.
Civic Center/Dover Park ponds, located behind the Fairfield Civic Center and along Dover Avenue, respectively, are a local haven for catfish. Children can fish for free, but adults must have a valid license.
Lake Berryessa, just across the northern Solano County border in Napa County, is a popular spot for trout, catfish, bass, crappie and bluegill. Boat ramps, bait and tackle are available at such places as Pleasure Cove Resort (966-2172), Markley Cove Resort (966-2134 or 800-242-6287) and Steele Park (966-2123 or 800-522-2123). All types of boating are allowed on the lake, and water skiing is a favorite activity. Boats and jet skis may be rented at Markley Cove. Call 966-4204.
The Sacramento River, which forms much of Solano County’s eastern boundary, is noted for striped bass, sturgeon and catfish, as well as salmon and crappie. Boat ramps and campsites are available at Sandy Beach County Park (374-2097), located just south of Rio Vista. Boat ramps are also available at Delta Marine Yacht Harbor. For fishing conditions and tackle, call Hap’s Bait Shop at 374-2372.
Montezuma/Suisun sloughs, which run along Grizzly Island, are home to striped bass, sturgeon, catfish and salmon. Free public fishing is available along the Suisun City Marina and at Grizzly Island. For more information, call the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area at 425-3828. For fishing conditions and tackle, call Virgil’s Bait Shop at 425-5518.
Suisun/Grizzly bays, located just east of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, is the site of the mothball fleet, a favorite haunt for sturgeon and striped bass. For use by light-draft vessels with local knowledge. Pilot recommended for large vessels bound for points east.
Lake Solano County Park boasts an abundance of trout, catfish, bass and crappie. No motorized boats are allowed. Boat ramp and campsites available. For more information, call Lake Solano County Park at 530-795-2990.
Lagoon Valley Lake has bass, perch and catfish as its main attractions. No motorized boats are allowed, and no swimming is permitted. For more information, call Lagoon Valley Park at 448-7258 or 421-7925.
Benicia is home to an abundance of shore fishing, with popular sites including East Fifth Street, First Street, West Second Street, the area between West Fourth and West Sixth streets, West Seventh Street, the Ninth Street boat launch and 12th and 14th streets. Anglers can also sharpen their skills at Industrial Park, located under the Benicia-Martinez Bridge; the Benicia Marina, between First and East Fifth streets; and Benicia State Park. Striped bass, flounder, sturgeon and salmon can be taken at most locations.
Vallejo is another hot spot for shore anglers, offering proximity to the Napa River and the Mare Island and Carquinez straits. For more information, call Norm’s Bait and Tackle (642-4330) or visit www.normsbaitvallejo.com. Those interested in boating safety information can contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadrons at 448-3828, 451-2631 or 422-4957.
Lake Solano Park has campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis, some of which have trailer hookups. Early arrival is encouraged. There is an extra charge for a campsite with utilities. There is a 10-person, two-car limit per site. Extra cars may be parked in an overflow lot for another fee. The park features swimming, fishing, a boat ramp, volleyball, a horseshoe pit and picnicking. Paddle boat and canoe rentals are available. There are restrooms, showers and a store at the campground, which is patrolled 24 hours a day. For more information or current campsite rates, call 800-939-PARK (939-7275) or 530-795-2990.
Sandy Beach Park, located south of Rio Vista, boasts campsites with rates similar to those of Lake Solano Park. Some of the campsites are available by reservation only. The park offers fishing, hiking and boating. Showers and restrooms are available, with a store and Laundromat nearby. For more information, call 800-396-PARK (7275) or 374-2097.
Grizzly Island Wildlife Area is the county’s major hunting area, with water fowl, tule elk, dove and rabbit most prevalent. Permits are required for all hunts except rabbit. Turkey, pig, crow and deer abound in various areas of the county on public and private property. For more information on hunting seasons and regulations, contact the state Department of Fish and Game Region 3 office in Yountville at 944-5500 or the Birds Landing Hunting Preserve at 374-5092 or www.birdslanding.net.
For hunting safety information or instruction, call the local recreation department or Guns, Fishing and Other Stuff in Vacaville at 451-1199 or visit www.gunsfishing.com.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.