Trails Challenge

Sonoma County Trails Challenge!

The Sonoma County Trails Challenge is an invitation to explore the Regional Parks and do something good for your body and mind! 

The Trails Challenge runs from June through September, when participants are invited to hike, run, bike or ride at least 5 trails featured in the free Trails Challenge guidebook. The guidebook includes park notes, trail ratings, turn-by-turn directions, maps, and suggestions for themed hikes, including an all-park challenge of more than 50 miles. 

When you finish, you'll get a free Trails Challenge gift and also could win park memberships and trail gear from REI for sharing your #TrailsChallenge photos.

The 2017 guidebook will be published in late May. In the meantime, you're invited to download the 2016 guide and keep it as a resource for exploring the parks.   

Happy Hiking!

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. 

"I started hiking to improve my mood, be more active, get fit. I really loved the trail notes and suggested routes in the Trails Challenge guide because it helped me feel comfortable going on trails and in parks I'd never been to." Donna, Santa Rosa 

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 explore Sonoma County's mountains, beaches, forests, rivers, meadows and lakes. Odds are you'll discover a new favorite destination. 

“The Trails Challenge was a great way to see more of beautiful Sonoma County. I’ve lived here for 50-plus years, and with the Trails Challenge I was able to see places I’d never seen before." Mark, Healdsburg

Tales for Trails

Make the Trails Challenge an adventure for both body and mind by enjoying these hiking- and nature-related books suggested by the Sonoma County Library and Regional Parks' staff.

  • Sally Carrighar: One Day on Beetle Rock
  • Cheryl Strayed: Wild
  • Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods
  • John Muir: A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf
  • Jack Kerouac: The Dharma Bums
  • Brad Allen: The Middle Fork, Finding Significance in a Forested Valley
  • Richard Preston: The Wild Trees
  • Craig Bohren: Clouds in a Glass of Beer - Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics
  • M. Wylie Blanchet: The Curve of Time
  • Keith Foskett: The Last Englishman
  • Colin Fletcher: The Thousand Mile Summer
  • Jon Krakauer: Into the Wild


  • 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

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

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

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Thank you, Trails Challenge Hikers

Congratulations to everyone who completed this year's challenge. Hundreds of participants took to the trails this summer and fall to get healthy, spend time with family and friends, and discover new parks. We're already thinking up new Trails Challenge adventures for next year, and hope you'll join us again.

Download the Trails Guide to Use Year-Round:

PDF fileDesktop edition (37MB)
PDF fileMobile edition (5MB)

PDF fileDesktop Español (36MB)
PDF fileMobile Español (5MB)

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