Sunrise to sunset.
No parking fee.
Permitted on leashes no longer than 6 feet. License required.
This small park
is in Annapolis, a remote community about 10 miles east of The Sea Ranch. Soda Springs makes a lovely stop while exploring northern Sonoma County. Short hiking trails pass through beautiful redwoods and along Soda Springs Creek. There are picnic tables, barbecues, and a restroom.
The Story of Soda Springs Reserve
The 48-acre Soda Springs Reserve became a Sonoma County
park in 1994. However, local residents had been using several acres as a park for nearly a century.
The Stibi family homesteaded the site in the
1880's and operated the "Soda Springs Campground." The
property was sold in 1910 to Wheeler Timber Company, with the Stibi family
continuing as campground caretakers until 1949.
The Paul B. Kelly
family then purchased the land. Mrs. Kelly in 1955 dedicated the small "park" area to the Annapolis community in memory of her late husband. The area was called Kelly Park from then on. Mrs. Kelly built two stone
fireplaces and installed a picnic table. Local citizens were grateful and were assured the park would remain
forever. However, unknown to anyone at the time, the property was never officially deeded to the Annapolis community.
Mrs. Kelly in 1969 sold the larger 285-acre parcel, which included the park property, to Molalla Forest Products. Molalla sold it to Masonite Lumber Company in 1970, and Masonite sold it to
Longview Fibre Company in 1977. Locals continued to use the small park area with the understanding it was their
Longview Fibre Company filed a timber harvest plan in 1985 outlining its intent to log old-growth redwoods within the park
site. The Annapolis community became aware of the proposed logging
when the majestic redwoods were tagged with blue ribbons. The Committee
to Preserve Kelly Park formed and
protested the harvest plan. Research revealed that the park site was indeed
owned by Longview and was not a public park.
The Committee contacted the
Save the Redwoods League in an effort to preserve the park. As a result, Longview Fibre did not log the property, and sold
the parcel in 1988 to R and J Lumber (now known as Coastal Forestlands, Ltd.)
Coastal Forestlands and Save the Redwoods League agreed the League
would purchase 48 acres, which included the park site, from funds bequeathed
to the League by Ira Higgins, and the League would donate the park to the
County of Sonoma.
Prior to accepting the site, the County had to subdivide
the 48 acres from the main parcel, amend the General Plan, rezone the
property and perform a hazardous materials study. Finally, in 1994, deeds were recorded granting
Sonoma County Regional Parks the timber and the land to use as a public park
in perpetuity. Deed restrictions provide that no live trees be cut unless
they are a hazard to human safety. At the request of the Annapolis Historical
Society, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors named the park "Soda Springs
Reserve". The redwood grove was named the "Ira Higgins Memorial
The grassroots efforts of the Annapolis community saved the park.
Sonoma County Regional Parks deeply appreciates the hard work and cooperation
of the Committee to Preserve Kelly Park, the Annapolis Historical Society, the
Save-the-Redwoods League, and Coastal Forestlands, Ltd.