• Sonoma Valley Regional Park wildflowers

Parks Order Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health order allowing limited access to Sonoma County parks?

Sonoma County’s public health officer has amended a parks closure order to allow access to coastal parks beginning June 3, 2020. The order allows residents to drive, bike or walk to all open Sonoma County parks and beaches for basic exercise and recreation. The order is effective until further notice and is the latest modification to a full parks closure ordered in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are in place to help prevent unsafe crowding and to support shelter-in-place rules. 

How can I access and use the parks?

The parks health order allows you to walk, bike or drive to parks, trails and beaches for basic exercise and outdoor recreation while you continue to shelter near home. You must stay at least 6 feet from other parks users who are not members of your household. You must carry a face covering and wear the covering when you cannot maintain that distance. 

Park managers may allow for an individual or a household group to use sports courts and playing fields. Playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, barbecue areas, drinking fountains, recreational campgrounds and other gathering or high-touch areas remain closed. Check Regional Parks' status list for details about specific park facilities.

Can I drive to parks outside of my community? 

California residents are under a stay home order that restricts unnecessary travel. While driving to local parks for basic exercise is allowed, park users are encouraged to stay close to home, limit their time and interactions with others in public, and if possible, initiate their park visits from their homes by walking, hiking or biking. If crowded parks make social distancing difficult, park managers can close parking areas, limit trail access or close parks.

Am I required to wear a face covering in a park?

You must carry a face covering when you are in a park, and you must wear the covering when you come within 6 feet of visitors who are not members of your household. This rule applies all users, whether walking, hiking, jogging, biking, fishing or sunbathing. For more information, see the Sonoma County health officer’s order regarding face coverings

Are Sonoma Coast beaches open? 

As of June 3, 2020, parking areas at coastal beaches managed by Sonoma County Regional Parks are open and daytime visiting hours are restored. Beach visitors can enjoy active recreation – such as hiking, walking, running, fishing, surfing and other water sports – as well as sedentary activities such as sunbathing and relaxing. Barbecues, picnic areas, campgrounds and other park facilities that encourage gatherings are closed. Beach visitors must follow physical distancing and face covering requirements and not gather with members of multiple households. 

Are Russian River beaches open?

Russian River parks and parking lots managed by Sonoma County Regional Parks are open. The exception is Guerneville River Park, where access is walk-in/bike-in only as of June 3, 2020. River parks can be used for swimming, boating, water sports, sunbathing, fishing hiking, and biking. Picnic areas are closed. Barbecuing and group gatherings are not allowed. Charter bus access, including drop off and pick up, is not allowed. Street parking in river neighborhoods is not advised. Parking regulations are strictly enforced. 

Are park restrooms open? 

The parks health order allows park agencies to reopen restrooms. Some restrooms may remain closed or partially closed due to maintenance or social distancing requirements. Some parks might have temporary restrooms available and no hand-washing stations. Please carry your own hand sanitizer. Check Regional Parks' status list for details about specific park facilities.

Are sports courts, athletic fields and other shared facilities open?

Single individuals or members of the same household can use open tennis courts, disc golf courses, basketball courts, pickleball courts, playing fields, boat launches and other shared sports facilities. Park visitors who are not members of the same household cannot share sports facilities at the same time. 

Playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, barbecue areas, drinking fountains and other gathering or high-touch areas are closed.

What type of fishing access is allowed?

Fishing is allowed at parks where regularly permitted. Boating for sport and commercial fishing is allowed in Bodega Bay at Westside Regional Park, Doran Regional Park and Spud Point and Mason's Marinas. Fishing boat occupants are limited to members of the same household. All anglers must comply with social distancing rules and wear face coverings when they are within 6 feet of people who are not members of their household. Fish cleaning stations are closed. 

Are Class 1 trails open to cyclists?

Class 1 multi-use trails like the Joe Rodota, Santa Rosa Creek and West County trails (paved paths separated from roads) are open to cyclists as well as pedestrians. 

What disabled parking options are available during this period of limited parks access?

Park managers may close or limit parking areas to control crowding. If you have a disability and need a reasonable parking accommodation during this period of limited opening, please contact your parks department (or 2-1-1, if not known) to coordinate parking at specific parks. To coordinate disabled access at a Sonoma County Regional Park, call (707) 565-2041.

Are equestrians allowed to use park trails? 

Sonoma County Regional Parks has restored equestrian access and reopened equestrian parking areas.

Are day-use parking fees required?

Sonoma County Regional Parks is charging its regular parking fees. Regional Parks memberships will be extended to cover the two months the parks were closed to vehicles. If you parks membership expired in March, April or May, you may continue to use it for the time-being. 

Can I exercise on schoolyards and school fields?

Some school campuses might allow public access for exercise. Please comply with any posted rules about public use, as well as all social-distancing and face mask protocols required by the public health officer.