Awesome Walks & Hikes

Whether you hike for exercise, recreation, or to take in a spectacular view, there is a good selection of choices in Sonoma. These walks and hikes are ordered more or less in order of both proximity to Sonoma Plaza and difficulty.

Sonoma Bike Path (Walking Welcome)

bike-pathA favorite local spot perfect for jogging, walking or biking is the Bike Path which crosses the City of Sonoma on the east-west axis, passing very close to Sonoma Plaza. The prime section runs between the historic Vallejo Home (Lachryma Montis) and Sebastiani Winery. Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Overlook Trail (Sonoma)

view_of-Sonoma_Overlook_traGreat for a morning exercise walk and/or for casual hikers with limited time who want to experience a breathtaking view of Sonoma, the Overlook Trail is within walking distance of Sonoma Plaza. It is the most accessible and gratifying route for anyone willing to walk a country mile to a spectacular view. Even young energetic children and healthy octogenarians can master this excursion. Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Bartholomew Park Trails (Sonoma Vicinity)

bart-steps_hikesAnother trail with panoramic views of Sonoma and the Bay, from easy-to-reach vista points, is the outer loop in Bartholomew Park (just behind Bartholomew Park Winery). It is a little over a mile and a half walk or drive to Bartholomew Park from Sonoma Plaza.

There are several loop routes on these grounds, ranging from about one and three quarters to two miles in length. There is a descriptive signboard posted at each of the gated entrances to the trails.

The grade is moderately easy with occasional steep sections that are mostly articulated with curbed steps. Several shaded spots and vista points are furnished with benches. This network of trails is opened seasonally during posted Park hours – closed during the rainy season. Hiking boots are definitely recommended.

Download Map (PDF)

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Sonoma Valley Regional Park (Glen Ellen)

A wonderful oak woodland park, with flat paved central trail suitable strollers. Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Jack London State Park Trails

jack_london_trail_map_01Jack London Sate Historic Park has an excellent network of walks and trails, ranging in difficulty from 0 to 10. For families with children who aren’t up to making the longer treks, the gentle-grade Lake Trail (2-mile loop) is very diverse and satisfying. From the parking lot it passes through a large picnic area, by historic barns and the “summer” cottage, the “Pig Palace” and silos, and around a lovely vineyard. At the edge of the woods one can continue to follow the fire road or go off to the left, up through a redwood grove to reach the Lake. From the “Bathhouse,” there are two gentle loop trails available to anyone wanting more distance but not too much exertion. The Upper Lake Trail loop is approximately a half-mile circuit and the Quarry & Vineyard Trail loop is about three quarters of a mile around. A sturdy pair of sports shoes will suffice for the trip to the Lake, but hiking boots are highly recommended for longer outings. Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Annadel State Park (Kenwood area)

Annadel State Park, located at the northern reach of Sonoma Valley, is a hiker’s paradise. These are wildlands, so sturdy shoes, sun protection, and water are essential. Hike and Bike Guide courtesy of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.  Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (Kenwood Area)

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is perched just east of Kenwood, on the side of the Mayacamas Mountains. The eastern side of the valley tends to a bit drier and more narly than the western side, but the summits are also higher and provide spectacular views. Sugarloaf is a wilderness part, so sturdy shoes, sun protection, and water are essential. Download the complete SVVB Hike and Bike Guide here (PDF File).

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Poison Oak

Poison Oak in Spring & Early Summer

Poison Oak in Spring & Early Summer

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Poison Oak in Late Summer & Autumn

Keep in mind the surrounding woods and fields are strewn with poison oak! This prolific, opportunistic plant can nestle inside blackberry patches, climb trees, and engulf rock outcroppings.If you even suspect you are allergic to the touch of poison oak, it is best to wear appropriate clothing and know where you can put your hands on some over the counter products in cream, gel or soap form to use before and after hiking. Poison oak changes color with the seasons and is even active in early spring before the leaves emerge.

 

 

 

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