Quantcast
 

A Press Democrat Blog

Trailhead

A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

The best hike in Sonoma County is…..

We asked our readers to name their favorite hiking spot in Sonoma County. Well, we asked readers to pick their favorites in a total of 84 different categories as part of our annual Best of Sonoma County Reader’s Choice Contest. The contest voting just ended, and the votes are now being tabulated. To no surprise, the best hiking spot was overwhelmingly Annadel State Park.  (The rest of the Best of Sonoma County winners will be announced on July 25 at… Read More »

A thoughtful hike to honor Jonathan Glass

This is a small community, and among those who are outdoors-oriented, whether in advocacy, government, conservation or just recreation (like me!), paths often cross. The handful of organizations that lead many hikes around here and work tirelessly for open space protection and preservation and access include LandPaths, the excellent Santa Rosa-based group that tragically lost its field director one year ago. Jonathan Glass’ death at age 36 shocked many, and there have been numerous tributes and memorials to his work… Read More »

Glen Ellen author on best Sacramento area hikes

Glen Ellen author and veteran outdoors writer Tracy Salcedo-Chourre has a new book on the best Sacramento area hikes. Whenever I hear from local hikers, I like to ask them about their favorite hike. Tracy picked one that I just did a couple of months ago, coincidentally. “It’s tough to sift through to a favorite trail among all the great hikes on my home turf, but I am partial to the Lawndale loop in Annadel State Park. Start at the… Read More »

A different (and much longer) Annadel hike to try

I had never heard of the Lawndale Trail in Annadel State Park, which makes sense as there is no reason to use it unless you enter the park from the extreme eastern tip, at a small trailhead in Kenwood. But the two miles or so of forested land that mark that trail – and accompany a steady climb – are well worth the exploration. It’s pretty hard, pretty rocky and just plain pretty too. To get there, take Highway 12… Read More »

Checking in at Annadel

Whenever I need a quick local hike, there’s always Annadel. And such was the case Saturday morning, where we did a pleasant, scenic 7-mile hike in a few hours. It was not the toughest hike, given the unseasonably cool weather, but the views, as always were stupendous. I haven’t followed closely the timing of the switchover of Annadel operation from state control to county management, since I’m a state parks passholder so I figure my access won’t be curtailed, but… Read More »

Artists for Annadel event

There are lots of fundraisers happening this winter and spring, all in support of area parks, but this one may be the most picturesque: A Santa Rosa gallery this Saturday night will be the spot for a art show to benefit the effort to keep Annadel State Park open. The juried exhibition will be at Gallery 300 on South A Street this month. There’s an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. on March 3 and then the show runs through March… Read More »

Go Giants! (and help state parks too)

In perhaps the feel-good promotion of the summer, the Giants are having a Grateful Dead tribute day in a few weeks as a fundraiser for some Bay Area nonprofits. One beneficiary will be the efforts to keep state parks in Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco counties open. The deal includes a pre-game party inside AT&T Park hosted by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (a Sebastopol area resident) and the most famous deadheader-turned-NBA-superstar Bill Walton. You will also get a Sonoma… Read More »

On the Ridge Trail inside Annadel

I’ve hiked and biked in Annadel several times but most trips have revolved around the same few trails, all leading to or around Lake Ilsanjo. And why not? It’s a beautiful body of water, whether for fishing or swimming and it provides a nice resting post. Last weekend’s hike was a bit more ambitious. The northernmost link of the 300-plus-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail includes about eight miles within Annadel State Park and our hike was to include a portion… Read More »

Keeping the gates locked at local parks

The other night, I did a sunset beach hike, along the sand near Bodega Harbor. To get to the beach, I had to go through some private property and use some unofficial access points because it seemed like the the only way to reach that stretch of land. Turns out that a couple of miles away was a full-fledged public parking lot and access area. Next time I’ll do it right. There’s a good story by Cathy Bussewitz in the… Read More »

Celebrating 40 years of Annadel

Reprinted from The Press Democrat’s Towns, April 8 edition When cyclist Jim Keene first visited Santa Rosa in 1982, his destination was Annadel State Park. A mecca for mountain bikers, trail runners, bird watchers and wildflower lovers alike, the park is now Keene’s backyard. He lives in the lone house among oak trees and parking spots at the adjacent Howarth Park, and rides through many of the 44 intertwining trails on an almost-daily basis. Like many others who enjoy the… Read More »

Grim news for state parks system

Here we go again. A year and half after avoiding the budget axe, it was announced today that a quarter of the state park system is slated to be shut down starting this fall. The news shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has been living through California’s long fiscal nightmare. A day ago, the headlines were about 45 percent (yup, 45 percent) college tuition hikes. A week ago, it was widespread teacher layoffs. The parks closure is going to hit… Read More »