Tolay Lake Regional Park is a unique property in the hills southeast of Petaluma. The park features a seasonal freshwater lake, Tolay Creek, wetlands, grasslands, and ridges with views of San Pablo Bay and San Francisco.
At 3,434 acres, the park is the largest Regional Park and provides critical watershed and habitat protections. The site is known for its bird populations, including the burrowing owl and golden eagle, and has significant archaeological and ranching histories. Grazing continues within the park.
A master plan is being prepared to fully open the park to the general public in 2018. In the interim, public access for hiking, birding, mountain biking, horseback riding and picnicking is allowed through a free permit program. The park also hosts school field trips and guided hikes throughout the year and the Tolay Fall Festival each October.
The park is comprised of the 1,769-acre Tolay Lake Ranch property purchased by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and transferred to Regional Parks and the 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch property purchased and transferred by the Sonoma Land Trust.
Tolay Lake Regional Park offers 8.6 miles of trails that may be accessed with a day-use permit or on a guided hike.
The free day-use permit program allows the public to visit Tolay Lake Regional Park on weekends once they've completed an online orientation and obtained a permit.
The history of the Tolay Lake Regional Park property ranges from Native Americans to pioneers and immigrants and is known to span over 8,000 years.