New Entrance, trailhead for Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve

June 3, 2015 in News

Regional Parks and its partners on June 13 will open a new entrance and trail at Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve in southeast Santa Rosa. The project on Petaluma Hill Road is the first permanent entrance developed under the park's master plan, will be the main staging area for visitors arriving from the south and west, and is a trailhead for a new connection to the upper park. 
 
The public is invited to an 11 a.m. dedication featuring remarks by Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart and representatives from California State Parks, Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation and Sonoma County Trails Council. Immediately after, Trails Council volunteers will lead a hike on the 1.2-mile Red Tail Trail loop they built in partnership with Regional Parks. A parks naturalist will lead a bilingual family hike at 1 p.m.

The project includes a new left turn lane on southbound Petaluma Hill Road, parking for 65 cars and 15 horse trailers, several picnic sites, the new trail loop and a .2-mile connector to the park's existing trail system.

"This new entrance and trail connection will do so much to help the community explore and enjoy Taylor Mountain," said 3rd District Supervisor Shirlee Zane. "This park is a beautiful piece of wilderness right in our backyard, and improving access to it is certainly something worth celebrating."

The next phase of improvements will include a children's play area incorporating natural features and local habitat, a permanent restroom, a group picnic site, and walk-in camp sites. Planning workshops for the play area will be held in coming months, with construction scheduled for summer of 2016.  The restroom project is in the design and permitting stage, and the group picnic area and camp sites will be built as funding becomes available.

"The opening of the Petaluma Hill Road entrance is a major milestone for the park and the community," said Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart. "We are so grateful for the state and local support that got us here. Now we look forward to planning the play area, the campsites and other fun features."

The project was funded by a $750,000 grant from Proposition 84, a 2006 bond act administered by California State Parks for needs-based park projects statewide; $200,000 from park mitigation fees; and $150,000 from traffic impact fees provided by the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works. Materials and support were provided by Syar Industries, BoDean Company, Soiland Company, Siri Grading & Paving, V. Dolan Trucking, Kadon Trucking, Bill Haluzak, and the Regional Parks Foundation.
 
Taylor Mountain's 1,100 acres were purchased by the voter-funded Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District and deeded to Sonoma County Regional Parks and opened to the public in 2013. (The park's current parking area on Kawana Terrace will remain open.) A disc golf course built and managed by a nonprofit group and the .7-mile Todd Creek Trail, also built with volunteer labor, were added to the park in 2014.
 
For more information, visit sonomacountyparks.org or call Regional Parks at (707) 565-2041.

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