Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

Kawana Terrace, Santa Rosa

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

Hours: The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Parking: $7 per vehicle for day use.

Dogs: Permitted on leash no longer than 6' in length. License required.

Accessibility: Accessible parking, picnic site and portable restroom.

Ranger Phone: (707) 539-8092

Trail Conditions: In the winter, trails are limited to pedestrians only, and one or both routes may be temporarily closed during wet conditions.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve consists of five contiguous parcels acquired by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District between 1995 and 2011 with funding from a voter-approved sales tax. A prominent county landmark, Taylor Mountain provides sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Plain, and its oak woodlands, meadows, wetlands and springs are habitat for a variety of wildlife.

The site has 4 miles of dirt trails along two routes, one of which leads up the mountain. A recently completed master plan for the property suggests the eventual development of 17 miles of primarily multi-use trails along with low-impact campsites, picnic sites, a visitor center and other recreation amenities closer to its urban boundaries.

Regional Parks soon will begin construction of the park’s first phase along Petaluma Hill Road. Work will include trails, a play course, picnic areas, restrooms and equestrian facilities, which will be accessed from a parking lot to be constructed south of Yolanda Avenue. The work is funded by a $750,000 state grant. Additional trails and features will be added to the park as funding becomes available. Read more

In keeping with the site’s agricultural history and resource management goals, cattle grazing will continue on the property.

Taylor Mountain Trails

Length:4 miles of trails

Taylor Mountain Regional Park currently offers four miles of trail along two routes. The Eastern trail is the more difficult of the two routes, offering a steep ascent up the side of the mountain. The Western Route offers a challenging, but more gradual, uphill hike. Both routes offer sweeping views of the Santa Rosa plain.

Cattle Grazing Area Safety Tips

In keeping with the site’s agricultural history and resource management goals, cattle grazing will continue at the park and preserve. Although cows are not aggressive by nature, if aggravated or threatened, they will defend themselves.

Here are some important safety tips:

  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times!
    Dogs are perceived as predators. Cows cannot always distinguish the difference between a coyote and a dog and may become aggravated by an approaching dog off leash.
  • Do not attempt to pet, feed or touch the cows. Cows are very
    protective of their young.

    Do not get in between a calf and its mother and do not approach a stray calf,
    its mother is likely nearby.
  • If Cattle are on the trail ahead of you:
    Make yourself known well in advance by waving your arms and shout. This will usually make them scatter. The other option would be to turn back!
  • Be sure to give cattle plenty of space and an avenue of escape.
    If you encounter a cow that is acting in a threatening manner or appears to be sick, injured or dead, please take note the location and report it to park staff.

 

Trails Challenge

View larger image of Taylor Mountain Trails Challenge MapTaylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve
Kawana Terrace, Santa Rosa

The trail below 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 new Trails Challenge PDF fileguidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and win a free water bottle!

Suggested trail loop:Ranch Road to the summit and back
Loop length: 3.52 miles round trip
Degree of difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet

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

Park Notes

  • This 1,100-acre park in southeast Santa Rosa was purchased by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District with funding from a voter-approved sales tax and opened by Regional Parks in 2013.
  • Taylor Mountain offers panoramic views of the Santa Rosa Plain from its western flank and the Mayacamas Mountains from its summit. The land historically has been used for ranching, and cattle grazing continues in the park.
  • A portable restroom is available in the parking lot. No drinking water. 

Trail Notes

  • The main trail is a ranch road with two routes to the mountain’s mid-section, then one route to the summit. The eastern approach involves a steep climb over open grasslands. The western approach is a more gradual ascent through oaks.
  • You likely will encounter cattle on your walk. Just give them a wide berth and pass by. Don’t attempt to pet them.
  • The park currently has 4 miles of trails, and a new trailhead on Petaluma Hill Road is expected to open in late 2014. Park plans call for the eventual development of 17 miles of trails total.

Trail Directions

  • Start out on the western route by entering the trail gate to the right (south) of the large water tanks. The trail begins a moderate ascent through oak woodlands, paralleling Todd Creek. At 1 mile, you’ll reach a vista point with expansive views of Santa Rosa.
  • The trail then turns north to connect with the eastern route. Follow the connector trail for .3 miles, taking the spur to the right to meet the eastern route. Continue .5 miles to the summit. At this point, the ascent becomes quite steep, so pace yourself.
  • When you reach the summit, take in the sights. To the west are the Santa Rosa Plain and the Coastal Range. To the east are central Santa Rosa and Rincon Valley and to the southeast is Bennett Valley. Return the way you came or opt to follow the eastern route back to the parking lot.

Driving Directions

  • From southbound Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, take the Hearn Avenue exit. Turn right onto Corby Avenue and then turn right onto Hearn Avenue. • Take the first left onto Santa Rosa Avenue. • Take the first right onto Kawana Springs Road. • Turn right onto Franz Kafka Avenue. • Franz Kafka turns left and becomes Kawana Terrace. • Turn right and follow to the park entrance.
  • From northbound Highway 101, take the exit toward Yolanda Avenue/Hearn Avenue • Make a slight left onto Yolanda Avenue. • Turn left onto Petaluma Hill Road. • Turn right onto Kawana Springs Road • Take the first right onto Franz Kafka Avenue. • Franz Kafka turns left and becomes Kawana Terrace. • Turn right and follow to the park entrance.

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