It’s springtime and you have the urge to explore the great outdoors. Sonoma County has a variety of open space trails, perfect for hiking. We’ve listed a few favorites throughout the region and ranked them by difficulty. So lace up those walking shoes or hiking boots and explore all that Wine Country has to offer.
Crane Creek Regional Park – Easy
Crane Creek Regional Park features rolling grasslands and beautiful stands of oaks on 128 acres east of Rohnert Park. Ridges offer sweeping views of the countryside and Rohnert Park, and meadows are covered with wild poppies in spring. The park has 3.5 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding and an 18-hole disc golf course. The trails cover rolling terrain, with the easiest trails running parallel to Crane Creek beneath mature oaks. For a little bit more exertion, the Fiddleneck and Hawk Ridge trails offer excellent views from the top of the hill.
Gualala Point Regional Park – Easy
This spacious 195-acre park has open meadows mixed with coastal forest. The park contains a campground, trail system, coastal vistas, and sandy beaches. The park is located adjacent to the Gualala River, which offers limited seasonal fishing. Please check all current regulations. Gualala Point Regional Park offers 2.9 miles of coastal trail along bluffs, through meadows, and above the Gualala River. Gualala Point Park is popular with day hikers and picnickers.
Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve – Moderate
Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve is a prominent Santa Rosa landmark, providing hikers with panoramic views of the city and distant peaks. The park’s 1,100 acres include sweeping grasslands, oak woodlands, several creeks and habitat for a variety of wildlife. The park boasts 5.5 miles of unpaved trails. The Eastern Trail is the most difficult, with a steep, 1,000-foot ascent to near the top of the mountain. The Western Trail offers a challenging yet more gradual climb up the mountain, connecting to the last leg of the Eastern Trail for the steep climb to the top. Both the Eastern and Western Trails offer sweeping views of Santa Rosa and beyond.
Shiloh Ranch Regional Park – Challenging
The 850-acre park in east Windsor has nearly 8 miles of trails for hiking, bicycle and horseback riding. Shiloh Ranch is a rugged landscape in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. The park includes oak woodlands, forests of mixed evergreens, ridges with sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Plain, canyons, rolling hills, a shaded creek and a pond. The loop trail system allows hikers to create routes of varying lengths and intensity. Shiloh is the only Regional Park that does not allow dogs on trails, although they are welcome in the group picnic area. The trail system allows users to create several loop options of varying length.
Trione-Annadel State Park – Varying
The park offers miles of trails for hiking and has more than 5,500 acres of rolling hills, seasonal streams, meadows and woodlands. Hikers can choose among more than 40 miles of trails. Elevation gains and degree of difficulty vary with each trail. For wildflower lovers, Trione-Annadel State Park offers a great variety of flowers from early Spring until early Summer, especially on a hike around Lake Ilsanjo. The best months to see the park’s wildflowers are April and May. Dogs are not allowed on trails. Dogs are allowed on a leash under your control only on Channel Drive (a paved road) within the park.
So get out there, enjoy this weather and experience all that Wine Country has to offer!
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