Since it first appeared in print in 2005, Robert Stone’s award-winning "Day Hikes Around Sonoma County" has been a favorite guide for the region’s resident and visiting hikers.
But in the decade since the book was published, the Sonoma County hiking scene has added many new trails and a few new parks. It was time for an update.
Luckily for hikers, Stone undertook a major revision of "Day Hikes" that includes more than 30 new hikes and parks in the just-published second edition, which is available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
Trails include North Sonoma, Taylor mountains
“There are lots of new Regional Parks hikes included,” Stone said. “Some of them, like North Sonoma Mountain and its Ridge Trail, are spectacular.”
New Regional Park trails also include Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve in Santa Rosa, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail in Sebastopol, Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail in Bodega Bay, and Tolay Lake Regional Park southeast of Petaluma.
Stone’s "Day Hikes" series contains 20 guidebooks covering California and other western states. He’s hiked every trail in each book and knows each region well. Still, he says, Sonoma County is his favorite place to hike.
“Sonoma County is better at getting new trails and developing new trails than any county I know of,” he said. “It’s amazing. It shows incredible devotion on your county’s part. And it’s so diverse geographically, with just about anything you could want on a hike. It’s endless, absolutely staggering.”
Sonoma County's less-traveled trails
Asked to name two worthy but little-traveled hiking trails in Sonoma County, Stone cited Crane Creek Regional Park in the countryside east of Rohnert Park and Helen Putnam Regional Park in the hills west of Petaluma.
“ Crane Creek is beautiful,” he said. “It’s filled with trees, and in spring there are vernal pools, a seasonal stream, and meadows of wildflowers and bunch grass. And great views from the ridge top."
“And Helen Putnam is really special,” he said. “There’s just something about those rolling hills and oak forests, those oak trees with their big twisted limbs. It’s such an open, gorgeous place. People don’t need to climb uphill. They can just enjoy the beauty and the day.”
In addition to the new edition of "Day Hikes Around Sonoma County," you can discover great hiking destinations here