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Helen Putnam - Recent Improvements

See What’s New at Helen Putnam Regional Park

Celebrate the improved Helen Putnam Regional Park! You're invited to visit this popular Petaluma regional park, take a self-guided tour of recent improvements and acknowledge the funders and volunteers who made this work possible. 

Pick up a map of the self-guided tour (PDF, 10MB) at the Chileno Valley or Windsor Drive trailheads – or choose your own route and enjoy six interpretive storyboards at key locations to learn about recent investments and improvements in the park.

Helen Putnam Improvement Map

  1. Chileno Valley Trailhead - The parking lot and trailhead on Chileno Valley Road feature significant investments to park infrastructure, including improved accessibility, a new parking lot layout and surfacing, expanded equestrian parking and new signs.
  2. Savannah Trail - Portions of the Ridge Trail and Savannah Trail were eroding due to their steep grade. These sections were realigned with in-sloped turns to reduce the overall slope of the trail. Trail sections also have been armored with gravel to improve drainage.
  3. Cattail Pond - Trails near Cattail Pond were realigned to avoid wetlands, reduce erosion and improve drainage. Over 400 native trees, shrubs, and grasses were planted to restore impacted areas. A new picnic table features a view overlooking the pond.
  4. South Loop Trail - Many sections of the South Loop Trail were rutted because they were not draining properly. Trail sections were reconfigured with an out-slope to allow them to drain, and rolling grade reversals were installed to redirect water off the trail.
  5. West Wind Trail - The new West Wind Trail increases access to the park, providing an entry point closer to the city center and additional parking in a new lot on Windsor Drive (5b on map). The trail adds .85 miles to the park’s trail system.
  6. Panorama Steps - Affectionately known as “Stairway to Helen,” this 123-step staircase replaces the steep trail that had eroded to 80 feet wide in places. The steps provide an environmentally sensitive redesign that still allows hikers to challenge themselves with a steep climb.