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, Tolay Lake 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 its significant cultural and ranching histories.
A master plan is being prepared to fully open the park to the general public in 2018. Interim access for hiking, birding, mountain biking, horseback riding and picnicking is allowed through a free permit program or guided outings. The park also hosts school field trips and the Tolay Fall Festival.
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 across mostly open grasslands. The East Ridge Trail and Three Bridges Vista Point offer dramatic views of the park, San Pablo Bay, and San Francisco skyline.
The free day-use permit program allows the public to visit Tolay Lake Regional Park on weekends.
The history of the Tolay Lake parkland ranges from Native American uses to settlement by immigrant farmers and ranchers.