Helen Putnam Regional Park

411 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma

  • Accessible areas
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Fishing
  • Hiking/Walking Trails
  • Picnic Facilities
  • Playgrounds

Hours : Sunrise to sunset

Parking: $7 per vehicle. Free for Regional Parks members.

Dogs: Permitted on leash no longer than 6 feet. License required.

Accessibility: Accessible playground & restroom

Ranger Phone: (707) 539-8092

Helen Putnam Regional Park is a compact wilderness park just southwest of Petaluma. Its 6 miles of trails cross grassy hillsides and wind through groves of heritage oaks. Ridge-top trails provide panoramic views of the city and the southern Sonoma County countryside. A looped trail system lets hikers create walks of varying length and difficulty, making Helen Putnam a great choice for beginning hikers looking for a bit of a challenge. Trails are open to cyclists and horseback riders as well. There is a large fishing pond containing mostly bluegill, and a gazebo, picnic area and playground are located near the parking lot.

Helen Putnam Regional Park Trails

Length:5.87 miles of trail

Helen Putnam Regional Park lies just outside of Petaluma and offers a variety of terrain across 5.87 miles of trail. Excellent views of Petaluma to the east and rural Sonoma County to the west can be enjoyed from the Panorama Trail. The viewpoints may be accessed via a steep climb up the trail from the parking lot, or a gentler approach via the paved Ridge Trail past the Fish Pond. Fillaree, Pomo, and South Loop trails wind through forested areas offering shade on hot summer days. Equestrians, hikers, and bikers are welcome on all trails.

Trails Challenge

PDF fileView larger image of Helen Putnam Trails Challenge Map Helen Putnam Regional Park
411 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma

This park is featured in the Sonoma County Trails Challenge, which invites you to get out and get active by hiking five of 15 routes highlighted in the updated Trails Challenge guidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and get a free Trails Challenge gift!

Suggested trail loop:  Ridge Trail to South Loop Trail to Fillaree Trail to Panorama Trail to Savannah Trail to Ridge Trail
Loop length:  2.8 or 3.3 miles
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 800 feet

  Trail symbols for walk, hike, run, dogs on leash, cyclists, and equestrians

Park Notes

  • The bucolic beauty of southern Sonoma County is on display at this compact wilderness park 2 miles southwest of downtown Petaluma.
  • The park features grassy hillsides, oak forests, a fishing pond, picnic sites, a playground, and panoramic views of Petaluma to the east and the Chileno Valley to the west.
  • Restrooms and drinking fountain in the parking lot.

Trail Notes

  • Helen Putnam contains nearly 6 miles of trails, making it a great destination for beginning hikers who want a bit of a challenge.
  • Ridge Trail has two parallel routes between the parking lot and the fish pond. One is paved and the other is dirt.
  • Fillaree Trail has excellent eastern views of Petaluma and woods that offer shade on warm days. Panorama Trail has lovely views of the south county countryside.

Trail Directions

  • From the parking lot, head west on the unpaved Ridge Trail. At .3 miles you’ll reach the fish pond.
  • Continue north on Ridge Trail to the intersection of Panorama and South Loop trails. Here, you have the option of turning right on South Loop Trail for a .5-mile loop back to this intersection.
  • Back on the Ridge Trail, follow it downhill and veer left on Fillaree Trail for expansive, ridgeline views of Petaluma. Weave through the woods to Panorama Trail.
  • Turn left onto Panorama Trail into the park interior.
  • At .3 miles, turn right onto Savannah Trail, take a moment to admire the view, and follow Savannah Trail .8 miles to the Ridge Trail.
  • Turn right on the Ridge Trail and follow it .1 miles to the parking lot.

 Driving Directions

  • From Highway 101 in Petaluma, take the East Washington Street exit toward Central Petaluma.
  •  Head west on East Washington Street for 1.2 miles.
  •  Turn left on Howard Street and then take the third right onto Western Avenue.
  •  Continue west on Western Avenue for 1.7 miles.
  •  Turn left onto Chileno Valley Road and the park is .8 miles ahead on the left.
  •  Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

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Take the Challenge

Get Your Guidebook

Download the free 2016 Trails Challenge guidebook, hike 5 or more trails & win prizes! 

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

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

Trails at a Glance 

PDF filePark Map 852 kB (PDF)

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