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A Press Democrat Blog

Trailhead

A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

Earth Day to Memorial Day spring parks events in Sonoma County

Passing on information on several events planned by Sonoma County Regional Parks over the next five weeks. See their official release below.     Regional Parks presents Parks Celebration 2014, dozens of free adventures in Sonoma County’s parks and open spaces from Earth Day, April 22, through Memorial Day, May 26. Parks Celebration is an annual series of events highlighting the many ways to enjoy public lands. During Parks Celebration, you can experience favorite parks in new ways or explore parks… Read More »

Spring wildflower hikes around Sonoma County

  From the Sonoma County Regional Parks, it’s time for one of their spring traditions – wildflower hikes. I’ve been on a few of these over the years, and they are terrific. The details: Discover the spring beauty of your Regional Parks by joining our wildflower walks on Saturdays from March 22-May 3. These walks are free and led by volunteer Phil Dean, a Master Gardner who will identify native plants, discuss the drought’s impact on this year’s flower displays,… Read More »

Blackberry Trail and two Gulches

A few random and recent  hikes to share. While both were short, they had their moments, scenic or otherwise, which is kind of the point of hiking too. Pinnacle and Shorttail Gulches, Bodega Bay It’s an almost 2-mile loop that goes to the coast, follows it for a brief distance and then returns inland. On the way out and back, you walk down into and alongside a gulch. Nothing stupendous, but within a few minutes of the parking lot at… Read More »

Fundraiser that includes a Taylor Mountain hike

From Sonoma County Regional Parks:   “Pasta & Parks Fundraiser Supports Regional Parks June 13, 2013 – Santa Rosa, CA – The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation will host “Pasta and Parks before The Big Q,” a fundraiser to support Sonoma County Regional Parks, on Friday, July 12 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly event will take place at the football field at Sonoma Academy (next to Taylor Mountain Regional Park), 2500 Farmers Lane. The evening will include… Read More »

Taylor Mountain, aka Sonoma County’s newest park, is open

[imagebrowser id=29] So Taylor Mountain Regional Park has been open for all of three months. It came into public ownership quite a while earlier but it has taken some time and money to develop some trails, a parking area, and the other minimal trappings of a public-access county park. The 1,100-acre open space and nature preserve is a fairly small park in terms of trails. You can circumnavigate the park in a couple of hours and still be leisurely as… Read More »

Hike, bike and eat

Not really a hiking thing, but a worthy outdoors/parks program to share (and one that I personally partake in several times during the summer):   From Sonoma County Regional Parks: “Local food trucks, those mobile vendors of delicious street food, return to Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Regional Park on Tuesday, May 28, and roll into Sebastopol’s Ragle Ranch Regional Park on Thursday, May 30. The trucks will be at Spring Lake from 4 p.m. to dusk each Tuesday and at… Read More »

Wildflower Walks in Regional Parks Begin March 23

Passing this along from the Sonoma County Regional Parks: “Each spring, Regional Park volunteers lead a series of free wildflower walks in parks throughout Sonoma County. The first walk of 2013 is scheduled for March 23 at Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen, with additional hikes planned in other parks on the following four Saturdays. Master Gardener Phil Dean, who has led nature walks in the county for nearly a decade, will identify and talk about the various flowers… Read More »

Hood Mountain Park road news

Press release from the Sonoma County Regional Parks: LOS ALAMOS ROAD ENTRANCE TO HOOD MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK CLOSED FOR REPAIRS The Los Alamos Road entrance to Hood Mountain Regional Park will be closed for construction from Wednesday, Sept. 26, through early December. Regional Parks is contracting with Bouthillier’s Construction of Willits to repair a park driveway damaged by the 2005 New Year’s Eve flood. The $756,119 project includes a 335-foot-long retaining wall and is entirely funded by the Federal Emergency… 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 »

GUEST POST: Pinnacle & Shorttail Gulch

Occasionally, I use this space for posts from guest writers on particular hikes. Today’s is from Brandon Brédo. While he is the supervising ranger for South County parks in Sonoma County, this column is actually about a coastal hike near Bodega Bay. If you’re interested in contributing to this blog and sharing info on hikes you like, send me a note through the comments section or by email. Take it away, Brandon:   Family Friendly Beach Hike:  Pinnacle & Shorttail Gulch Coastal… Read More »

LEARN: Wilderness survival skills

The sun is setting later and later this time of year (8:12 p.m. tonight, woo-hoo!), meaning those post-work and long weekend hikes can easily stretch into evenings. But while no one expects to be caught after dark and lost and stuck for a bit, it does happen. I speak from experience – not personal experience, mind you, but the experience of standing at the end of a trailhead in the middle of the night wondering whatever happened to some of… Read More »

Update: Saturday’s wildflower hike canceled

Wildflowers abound this time of year, and so do free, guided hikes by area groups that are aimed at identifying and exploring cool wildflowers. Below is information from the Sonoma County Regional Parks and from the Sonoma Land Trust, each of which is sponsoring a series of walks in the next few weeks. See all the details below.  UPDATE: This Saturday’s hike at Sonoma Valley Regional Park has been canceled due to the threat of rain. From the Sonoma County… Read More »