When we get some warmer temperatures in winter, the snows start to melt and the first places to be free of snow and mud are the shoreline trails and beaches of the rivers. The premier route for a winter walk/beach is along the Rivers Trail to the west beaches between the airport and Tranquille. We park at the end of Aviation Way and follow the main trail west. At successive junctions we stay left until we come to a fenceline. We follow the fence for a short distance, then follow the trail down into the slough, which is dry in winter, and continue out to the beaches.
The trail out to the beach winds through shrubby growth out to river channels, scrubby islands, and sandbars. There are many route choices, but we like the one that goes around the north side of a dry island, then out to the end of the sand beyond.
I walked a wide arc onto the the outer sandbars. Across the river stands an old abandoned building that I have explored by kayak. Inside is a large boiler, but I could nothing else to explain its origin.
There are no trail signs to help with the route, so hikers may need to follow whichever trails they encounter and work out a better route for the next time. The entire hike/walk is about 8 km and well-worth our time on a mild winter day.