Featuring hands-on natural history exhibits, live animals and a bookstore, the American River Nature Center is located in the historic Kane House in the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma. The Nature Center is the home of the American River Conservancy (ARC), a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving rivers and land in the American River and Cosumnes River watersheds. ARC also provides environmental education opportunities, guided hikes, workshops and conducts restoration and trail maintenance in the area.
The American River Conservancy offers guided hikes, natural history programs, workshops and lectures for people of all ages. Our programs change monthly and most require registration.
HISTORY The historic Kane House is located in the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park - the location of the discovery of gold in California in 1848. The Kane House was built in 1886 by Thomas Kane, the son of Irish immigrants. In 1934 Ralph Hikens owned the house and operated a store and post office in one room. The American River Nature Center is within walking distance of Sutter's Mill on the South Fork American River, across the street from a fully operational Blacksmith Shop, and a short distance from the Monroe Ridge Trail (3 mile loop through the State Park), gold panning opportunities and the Gold Discovery Museum.
EXHIBITS The Nature Center offer hands-on learning about the local environment and natural history. Native animal mounts such as mountain lion, fox, bobcat, river otter and deer, and live specimens including California tiger salamander, Rosy boa, Northern leopard frog are also a main focus of the Center. Beautiful nature-themed murals by Auburn-based artist Michael Maydak feature local landmarks and common native plant and animal species found in the Sierra Nevada. Our friendly docents are happy to answer your questions and assist in the handling of our live snake. Take a self-guided tour through our native plant garden surrounding the Nature Center and learn about ways to attract wildlife to your own yard. Many displays and exhibits change quarterly, so come and check out what's new at the Nature Center!
Check out our website at www.arconservancy.org or call (530) 621-1224 for more information.