Sonoma County Parks Blog

Seeds and Squirrels: Nature's Plan for Recovery

Nov. 15, 2017

Sonoma County’s forests, woodlands, shrub lands and streamsides already have a plan for fire recovery. In fact, they’ve planned for this wildfire disaster for a long time. And they have bounced back from many fires over thousands of years. Read More

Sonoma County Parks Marked by Wildfires

Oct. 31, 2017

Several Sonoma County Regional Parks suffered significant damage in October's devastating wildfires. Here is a summary of how they fared and when they might reopen. Read More

Couple Finds Love Exploring Every Sonoma County Regional Park

Aug. 28, 2017

Everyone knows visiting parks is good for your health, but did you know it's also good for your love life? After their first date at Taylor Mountain, a Santa Rosa couple decided to visit all 50-plus Sonoma County Regional Parks. Now they're getting married. Read More

A Guide to Mountain Biking in Sonoma County Parks

July 14, 2017

Some of the best mountain biking in Sonoma County can be found in its regional and state parks. From beginning rides at parks like Helen Putnam in Petaluma or Foothill in Windsor to epic climbs at Hood Mountain or the rocky singletrack at Annadel, this list will get you on the trails. Read More

Spring Hikes in Sonoma County: Helen Putnam Regional Park

March 3, 2017

Looking for a spring hike in Sonoma County that will take your breath away? Head to the rolling hills just west of Petaluma, where Helen Putnam Regional Park features jaw-dropping views of bright green countryside and endless blue-and-white skies. Read More

Whale Watching in Sonoma County Parks

Feb. 25, 2017

The annual Pacific gray whale north-bound migration hits its stride along the Sonoma Coast in late winter and early spring. So set out along Sonoma County’s 55-mile coast to visit beautiful parks where you're most likely to glimpse whales making this remarkable journey. Read More

Dog-Friendly Trails in Sonoma County

Jan. 5, 2017

There's nothing like going on a hike with your best friend. And if your best friend happens to be a dog, no worries: The Regional Parks are the most pet-friendly in Sonoma County. Read More

Cloudy Day Hikes in Sonoma County

November 30, 2016

One of the special things about winter hiking is the dramatic show often taking place in the sky. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail, Doran Beach, and Shiloh Ranch Regional Park are three hiking destinations with "big sky" views. Read More

3 Hikes on North Sonoma Mountain

October 25, 2016

Hiking options at North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Preserve include a standout section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail that connects to Jack London State Historic Park and two shorter trails with equally stunning views of Wine Country valleys and peaks. Read More

Autumn is Ideal for Visiting the Sonoma Coast

October 3, 2016

For many of us in Sonoma County, fall is a much-anticipated time to get outdoors. Summer crowds have thinned, vineyards are turning striking shades of red and orange, and the air carries the scents of autumn. But one of the best features of the season is the spectacular weather along the Sonoma Coast. Read More

The Healdsburg Water Carnival & Wine Barrel Racing on the Russian River

August 4, 2016

Imagine straddling a tipping and turning wine barrel in the middle of the Russian River, trying not to fall off while propelling yourself forward and around a buoy with a canoe paddle. Get the picture? It's not easy to do, but you'll have fun trying. The Healdsburg Water Carnival, the splashiest event of Sonoma County's summer season, returns to Veterans Memorial Beach on Saturday, Aug. 13, with its hilarious and thrilling wine barrel races and other good-natured, family-friendly fun in the river. Read More

Family Backpacking in the Sonoma Valley

August 4, 2016

The Azalea Creek campground in Hood Mountain Regional Park in the Sonoma Valley has been transformed from a nearly shuttered backcountry site to a destination worth showcasing. Ranger Bredo describes his experience backpacking there with family and friends one summer weekend. Read More

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Sonoma County

August 3, 2016

In the last few years, stand-up paddleboarding—often referred to as “SUP”—reportedly has become the nation’s fastest-growing outdoor activity. It’s certainly popular in Sonoma County, where the Russian River, several lakes, and Bodega Bay provide diverse adventures for paddleboarders. And some of the most superb paddleboarding opportunities can be found within Sonoma County Regional Parks. Read More

Playing it Safe on the Russian River

July 2, 2016

Ah, summer on the Russian River. It's an iconic Sonoma County experience, and each year thousands of residents and visitors look forward to swimming, paddling, and tubing on this beautiful warm-weather playground. However, playing in the river is not without risk. So we're going to risk sounding like your mom and ask you to please be safe out there. Read More

The Wild Diversity of Sonoma County's Oaks

June 28, 2016

Where is your favorite spot to enjoy Sonoma County’s magnificent oak woodlands? Is it a stretch along your morning commute, a park you often visit, or perhaps the trees in your yard? Oak trees are perhaps the single most iconic element of our landscape. So what do we know about them? Read More

Older Americans Can Blaze Trails in the Parks

May 19, 2016

Are you an "older" American? If so, this is your month. Every year the President officially designates May as Older Americans Month, a time to recognize the contributions of seniors and honor their potential to affect change. The theme of this year's observance is “Blaze a Trail,” which of course, we at Sonoma County Regional Parks love. (We have more than 150 miles of trails, after all!) Read More

On the Trail to Spring Picnics in Sonoma County

May 3, 2016

Spring in Sonoma County is practically a Technicolor experience, and a picnic in the park is one of the best ways to enjoy the season's vivid beauty. If you're up for a little adventure, you can explore some of the parks' remote picnic sites, settings where you feel you've got the place all to yourself and are immersed in the sights, sounds and scents of spring. Here are a few of our favorite out-of-the-way picnic spots. Read More

Popular Hiking Guide Features Newest Regional Parks

April 17, 2016

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 hikers. But Sonoma County has added many new trails and a few new parks in the decade since the book was published. Luckily for hikers, Stone undertook a major revision that includes more than 30 new hikes and parks in a just-published second edition. Read More

See Sonoma County's Spring Wildflowers

April 4, 2016

It’s wildflower season in Sonoma County’s parks, where you’ll find dazzling displays of blooms. Join one of Regional Parks’ free, guided wildflower walks, led by naturalists and park experts who will bring the ecology of the flowers and properties to life. Read More

3 Valentine's Day Hikes in Sonoma County

February 11, 2016

Valentine’s Day this year falls on the Sunday of the long President's Day weekend. Why not celebrate by taking some time to explore the beauty of Sonoma County with someone you love? Here are three suggestions for romantic hikes on the Sonoma Coast, in the Sonoma Valley, and along the Russian River. Read More

Why are Cows Grazing in the Parks?

January 28, 2016

Have you been surprised to see cattle grazing along the trails at Taylor Mountain or North Sonoma Mountain? Sonoma County Regional Parks' Natural Resources Manager Melanie Parker explains why grazing can benefit public parks and preserves and why grazing done right is both a science and an art. Read More

Tips for Reserving a Sonoma County Campsite

January 26, 2016

Thinking about camping in Sonoma County this summer? If so and if you want to nab the best spot, reserve your campsite today. Sonoma County Regional Parks' 200-plus campsites on the Sonoma Coast and in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley can be reserved up to one year in advance. Read More

Doran Beach in Winter: An Insider's Guide

January 22, 2016

Just about everyone loves going to the beach in summer, but here in Sonoma County, the coast’s sandy stretches attract a devoted following in winter too. One of the Sonoma Coast's best destinations on a winter day is the long, wide beach at Doran Regional Park in Bodega Bay. Read More

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