The Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center is a regional center for STEM and environmental exploration, owned and operated by San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE). It sits on over 200 acres of land nestled in a large meander of the San Joaquin River in Manteca, California. Several miles of hiking trails, seasonal ponds, oak woodlands, a meadow, over 80 acres of wild riparian forest, various picnic areas, a working farm, and the shores of the mighty San Joaquin River are a few highlights of this special place.
Durham Ferry has, throughout its history, been an important site for people of the surrounding region. Our site lies within the ancestral homelands of the Yokuts native Californian people. In the mid-1800s it was the location of a ferryboat crossing, where pioneers and hopeful explorers in search of gold, land, and adventure crossed the great San Joaquin River. From 1971-1980, the land was a county-operated park called South County Regional Park, and served as a place for families and friends to picnic, ride horses, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. In 1980, the property changed hands to the state of California, and it became known as Durham Ferry State Recreation Area. Finally in 1997, when state and county funds didn't suffice to manage the park, the land was given to SJCOE for educational purposes. Since 1999, it has been owned and operated by SJCOE. The land is also currently home to Historic Durham Ferry Academy, a charter school within the Venture Academy Family of Schools. For information about Historic Durham Ferry Academy, you can visit the Venture Academy website.
Durham Ferry is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including several large mammals, many reptiles and amphibians, insects, and over 200 species of birds. It is also one of the best places to encounter native plants of our area. Check out all of our residents with fur, feathers, scales, fins, wings, roots, and spores by visiting our iNaturalist Project, where visitors can record observations of wildlife they see and contribute to a worldwide Citizen Science database. You can also learn about our local plants and animals by browsing these iNaturalist wildlife guides of Durham Ferry.
Outdoor Education and
Environmental Literacy Coordinator
Outdoor Education and
(209) 292 -2715
Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center
29442 Airport Way
Manteca, CA 95337
PO Box 213030
Stockton CA 95213