Sycamore Island, one of Valley's hidden gems, reopens

If you seek the soothing sounds of nature, the great escape is a lot closer than you think.

The San Joaquin River runs through it.

Just across the bluffs on the Madera side of the river you'll find Sycamore Island.

Sycamore Island spans 600 acres where you can get away from it all and enjoy the wildlife.

It is now open for public use Friday, Saturday and Sunday through November.

"If you've never been to Sycamore Island you'll be very pleased and surprised by what you discover here. There are several hiking trails where you can walk and jog and if you like to fish you'll find seven ponds which are fully stocked with everything from trout, bass to catfish and crappie. A lot anglers are out here today trying their luck on the first day of the opening. Other people like to keep their eyes peeled on the skies and the trees in search of birds."

Egrets, herons and ducks are among those flying the friendly skies.

"We do have a bald eagle that we've been seeing down here."
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