Trails Challenge

             Share Your Trails Challenge Photos & Win Prizes!

                    #SonomaCountyParks #TrailsChallenge


Take the Trails Challenge!

Welcome to the third-annual Sonoma County Trails Challenge, an invitation to explore your Regional Parks and do something good for your body and mind! 

The 2016 Trails Challenge features a newly designed guidebook with hiking itineraries for 15 Regional Parks. You're invited to pick at least 5 to hike, run, bike, or ride any time from June through September. 

The guidebook rates trails as easy, moderate or strenuous and offers turn-by-turn directions, trail maps, park notes, and driving directions. New this year are suggestions for themed hikes, including an all-park challenge of more than 50 miles. 

Finishers get a free Trails Challenge commemorative pin and also can win park memberships and gear packages from REI and CamelBak. Kids get special prizes too, including a new nature-themed from the Sonoma County Library.

If you hiked the Trails Challenge last year, we invite you to join us again this year and try expanded itineraries at Hood Mountain, Shiloh Ranch, Helen Putnam, Spring Lake, and other parks.

Hiking for Health

Health professionals agree that establishing a walking - or hiking - routine is one of the simplest, most effective actions we can take to improve our physical and mental health. 

With more than 50 parks and 150 miles of trail, the Regional Parks offer safe, convenient, free, and beautiful hiking destinations throughout Sonoma County, from Sonoma to Bodega Bay and Petaluma to The Sea Ranch. 

Hiking for Parks

Becoming a regular trail user is not only good for you, its good for your parks. When you hike, you experience the role parks play in healthy communities and you are more likely to support and protect your public lands.

The Trails Challenge encourages you to get to know Sonoma County's mountains, beaches, forests, rivers, meadows and lakes. Odds are you'll discover a new favorite destination. 

Start the Trails Challenge

1. Download the free Trails Challenge guidebook or pick up a print edition at the staffed entries to Spring Lake and Ragle Ranch parks starting June 4 or at Regional Parks' Santa Rosa office starting June 6. 

English guidebook:
PDF fileDesktop version (36.52 MB)
PDF fileMobile version (5.23 MB)

Spanish guidebook:
PDF fileDesktop version (36.33 MB)
PDF fileMobile version (5.15 MB)

2. Review the guidebook and select 5 different trails to hike any time from June through September. 

3. Share your hikes. Post a hiking selfie or trail photo on Regional Parks Facebook page or Instagram using #SonomaCountyParks #TrailsChallenge and you'll be eligible for monthly giveaways of park memberships and trail gear from REI and Camelbak.

Finish the Trails Challenge

  • When you have completed 5 or more hikes, turn in the online trails log (coming soon) with basic information about your hikes. 
  • We will send you a free Trails Challenge commemorative pin or other gift while supplies last.
  • If you posted a trails photo on Regional Parks' Facebook page or Instagram, you're eligible for monthly giveaways of park memberships and trail gear from REI and CamelBak. (Winners announced on social media.) 
  • Kids 12 and younger will get a prize, a "Trails Challenge Explorer" certificate, and instructions for getting a free nature-themed book from the Sonoma County Library. (Parents can submit trails logs for younger children.)

Keep on Hiking

If you're having fun, pick another five trails and take the Trails Challenge again. You're also welcome to join guided hikes. (Check our activities calendar for the latest outings.) And you're always welcome to explore any Regional Park, even if it's not featured in the guidebook.

Trails and Tales

Make the Trails Challenge an adventure for both body and mind by enjoying this reading list suggested by the Sonoma County Library.

Children's Stories

  • Andrew Clements: Because Your Mommy Loves You
  • Nancy Shaw: Sheep Take a Hike
  • Tracy Kane: Fairy Houses
  • Jonathan London: The Waterfall
  • Galen Longstreth: Yes, Let’s
  • Anne Mazer: The Salamander Room
  • Michael Rosen: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
  • Elizabeth Scanlon:In the Canyon
  • Margaret Hillert: What’s in the Woods, Dear Dragon?
  • Lynn Kertell: Outdoor Adventures!
  • Herman Parish: Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail
  • Andrew Clements: A Week in the Woods
  • Sara Leach: Count Me In
  • Wendelin Van Draanen: Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things

 Children's Nonfiction

  • Nancy Wallace: Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!
  • Liza Walsh: Treasure Hunter’s Handbook
  • Hallie Warshaw: Get Out! Outdoor Activities Kids Can Enjoy Everywhere (Except Indoors)
  • Nancy Blakey: Go Outside: Over 130 Activities for Outdoor Adventures
  • Jessica Loy: Follow the Trail: A Young Person’s Guide to the Great Outdoors
  • Marilyn Singer: A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play

Remember, children who finish their Trails Challenge hikes get a free nature-themed book, compliments of the Library and Regional Parks Foundations. (Pick-up instructions will be provided after the child or parent turns in a trails log.)

 For Adults


  • Robert Stone: Day Hikes Around Sonoma County: 125 Great Hikes
  • Sarah Cornelius: Walking Softly: A Collection of Mostly Gentle Walks in Sonoma County, California
  • Stephen Hinch: Hiking and Adventure Guide to the Sonoma Coast and Russian River

 Stories about hiking and nature

  • Cheryl Strayed: Wild
  • Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods
  • Sally Carrighar: One Day on Beetle Rock

The Trails Challenge is supported by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation with sponsorship from REI Co-Op, Whole Foods Market, Green Valley Consulting Engineers, EBA Engineering, Spring Lake Village, CamelBak, the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation, and Shutterbug Camera Shops.

Thank you, sponsors, for your generous contributions.

Trails Challenge Sponsors

Trails Challenge logo
Challenge Yourself

Hike 5 or more trails and get a free Trails Challenge gift!  Download the updated trails guidebook below to get started!  Save to your phone or tablet with free apps like iBooks and Adobe Reader.

Download English guidebook:
PDF fileDesktop version (36.52 MB)
PDF fileMobile version (5.23 MB)

Download Spanish guidebook:
PDF fileDesktop version (36.33 MB)
PDF fileMobile version (5.15 MB)

Easy Trails

Moderate Trails

Strenuous Trails

Take the Trails Challenge - there's a trail for everyone!  

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