Lake Ilsanjo, Annadel State Park

Lake Ilsanjo, Annadel State Park

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

The second-place park was Spring Lake Regional Park, which intersects with Annadel in several places so it’s likely that some voters for each spot voted based on a trail that goes into the other park. Nevertheless, the third-place spot was an interesting one, in that it is the newest park in Sonoma County and one that isn’t quite as rural or lush as some others. That would be Taylor Mountain Regional Park, an amazing place for a sunrise or sunset, and situated conveniently close to central Santa Rosa.

I don’t disagree with any of the findings. But it wouldn’t be hard to make a case for a half-dozen other great hiking spots locally, whether the rolling hills of Shiloh to the redwoods of Armstrong Woods to the coastal climb to Red Hill to the literary-infused pathways of Jack London to the soaring views at Gunsight Rock, etc., etc., etc. I’ve stopped claiming a ‘favorite’ hiking spot around here, as any hike on any given day could end up being a great one.

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