Sonoma County Parks Blog
Spring Hikes in Sonoma County: Helen Putnam Regional Park
March 3, 2017
Looking for a spring hike in Sonoma County that will take your breath away? Head to the rolling hills just west of Petaluma, where Helen Putnam Regional Park features jaw-dropping views of bright green countryside and endless blue-and-white skies. Read More
Whale Watching in Sonoma County Parks
Feb. 25, 2017
The annual Pacific gray whale north-bound migration hits its stride along the Sonoma Coast in late winter and early spring. So set out along Sonoma County’s 55-mile coast to visit beautiful parks where you're most likely to glimpse whales making this remarkable journey. Read More
Dog-Friendly Trails in Sonoma County
Jan. 5, 2017
There's nothing like going on a hike with your best friend. And if your best friend happens to be a dog, no worries: The Regional Parks are the most pet-friendly in Sonoma County.
Cloudy Day Hikes in Sonoma County
November 30, 2016
One of the special things about winter hiking is the dramatic show often taking place in the sky. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail, Doran Beach, and Shiloh Ranch Regional Park are three hiking destinations with "big sky" views.
3 Hikes on North Sonoma Mountain
October 25, 2016
Hiking options at North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Preserve include a standout section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail that connects to Jack London State Historic Park and two shorter trails with equally stunning views of Wine Country valleys and peaks.
Autumn is Ideal for Visiting the Sonoma Coast
October 3, 2016
For many of us in Sonoma County, fall is a much-anticipated time to get outdoors. Summer crowds have thinned, vineyards are turning striking shades of red and orange, and the air carries the scents of autumn. But one of the best features of the season is the
spectacular weather along the Sonoma Coast.
The Healdsburg Water Carnival & Wine Barrel Racing on the Russian River
August 4, 2016
Imagine straddling a tipping and turning wine barrel in the middle of the Russian River, trying not to fall off while propelling yourself forward and around a buoy with a canoe paddle. Get the picture? It's not easy to do, but you'll have fun trying. The Healdsburg Water Carnival, the splashiest event of Sonoma County's summer season, returns to Veterans Memorial Beach on Saturday, Aug. 13, with its hilarious and thrilling wine barrel races and other good-natured, family-friendly fun in the river.
Family Backpacking in the Sonoma Valley
August 4, 2016
The Azalea Creek campground in Hood Mountain Regional Park in the Sonoma Valley has been transformed from a nearly shuttered backcountry site to a destination worth showcasing. Ranger Bredo describes his experience backpacking there with family and friends one summer weekend.
Stand Up Paddleboarding in Sonoma County
August 3, 2016
In the last few years, stand-up paddleboarding—often referred to as “SUP”—reportedly has become the nation’s fastest-growing outdoor activity. It’s certainly popular in Sonoma County, where the Russian River, several lakes, and Bodega Bay provide diverse adventures for
paddleboarders. And some of the most superb paddleboarding opportunities can be found within Sonoma County Regional Parks.
Playing it Safe on the Russian River
July 2, 2016
Ah, summer on the Russian River. It's an iconic Sonoma County experience, and each year thousands of residents and visitors look forward to swimming, paddling, and tubing on this beautiful warm-weather playground. However, playing in the river is not without risk. So we're going to risk sounding like your mom and ask you to please be safe out there.
The Wild Diversity of Sonoma County's Oaks
June 28, 2016
Where is your favorite spot to enjoy Sonoma County’s magnificent oak woodlands? Is it a stretch along your morning commute, a park you often visit, or perhaps the trees in your yard? Oak trees are perhaps the single most iconic element of our landscape. So what do we know about them?
Older Americans Can Blaze Trails in the Parks
May 19, 2016
Are you an "older" American? If so, this is your month. Every year the President officially designates May as Older Americans Month, a time to recognize the contributions of seniors and honor their potential to affect change. The theme of this year's observance is “Blaze a Trail,” which of course, we at Sonoma County Regional Parks love. (We have more than 150 miles of trails, after all!)
On the Trail to Spring Picnics in Sonoma County
May 3, 2016
Spring in Sonoma County is practically a Technicolor experience, and a picnic in the park is one of the best ways to enjoy the season's vivid beauty. If you're up for a little adventure, you can explore some of the parks' remote picnic sites, settings where you feel you've got the place all to yourself and are immersed in the sights, sounds and scents of spring. Here are a few of our favorite out-of-the-way picnic spots.
Popular Hiking Guide Features Newest Regional Parks
April 17, 2016
Since it first appeared in print in 2005, Robert Stone’s award-winning "Day Hikes Around Sonoma County" has been a favorite guide for the region’s hikers. But Sonoma County has added many new trails and a few new parks in the decade since the book was published. Luckily for hikers, Stone undertook a major revision that includes more than 30 new hikes and parks in a just-published second edition.
See Sonoma County's Spring Wildflowers
April 4, 2016
It’s wildflower season in Sonoma County’s parks, where you’ll find dazzling displays of blooms. Join one of Regional Parks’ free, guided wildflower walks, led by naturalists and park experts who will bring the ecology of the flowers and properties to life.
3 Valentine's Day Hikes in Sonoma County
February 11, 2016
Valentine’s Day this year falls on the Sunday of the long President's Day weekend. Why not celebrate by taking some time to explore the beauty of Sonoma County with someone you love? Here are three suggestions for romantic hikes on the Sonoma Coast, in the Sonoma Valley, and along the Russian River.
Why are Cows Grazing in the Parks?
January 28, 2016
Have you been surprised to see cattle grazing along the trails at Taylor Mountain or North Sonoma Mountain? Sonoma County Regional Parks' Natural Resources Manager Melanie Parker explains why grazing can benefit public parks and preserves and why grazing done right is both a science and an art.
Tips for Reserving a Sonoma County Campsite
January 26, 2016
Thinking about camping in Sonoma County this summer? If so and if you want to nab the best spot, reserve your campsite today. Sonoma County Regional Parks' 200-plus campsites on the Sonoma Coast and in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley can be reserved up to one year in advance.
Doran Beach in Winter: An Insider's Guide
January 22, 2016
Just about everyone loves going to the beach in summer, but here in Sonoma County, the coast’s sandy stretches attract a devoted following in winter too. One of the Sonoma Coast's best destinations on a winter day is the long, wide beach at
Doran Regional Park in Bodega Bay.