Santa Rosa Hiking Trails

Santa Rosa Hiking Trails

Santa Rosa has a variety of hiking trails to choose from. From Gunsight Rock in Hood Mountain Regional Park to Creekside Trail in Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.

North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve

If you enjoy hiking, you’ll love the trails in North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve. Located just five miles southeast of Santa Rosa, the park is home to the first regular public access to the mountain’s northern slope.

The park is open seven days a week, from 7 AM to sunset. Several parking spaces are available. For visitors with disabilities, there are two accessible trails.

One of these, the Pioneer Nature Trail, is wheelchair accessible and mostly flat. At the end of the trail, you’ll find a creekside picnic area. There are also several wheelchair-accessible parking spaces, and a restroom.

The second trail, the Ridge Trail, is a moderate hike on unpaved trails. It climbs to nearly 2,000 feet and features spectacular views. In addition, it connects to more than 20 miles of trails that skirt the state park.

The park is home to the headwaters of Sonoma Creek. You can view a 25-foot seasonal waterfall. Also, you can view a quarter-mile beach dotted with tide pools.

The park offers several scenic trails for both equestrians and hikers. Visitors should plan a good amount of time for their hike.

A few popular trails include the Umbrella Tree Trail and the Matanzas Creek Trail. Both offer sweeping views of the Bennett Valley. They are both part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

In addition, visitors can visit the Bodega Bay trail. This 6.5-mile trail includes a number of interesting rock formations along the shoreline.

Finally, the Mountain Cemetary Trail is a 1.2-mile paved trail that links to the surrounding ridges. As you explore the trail, you’ll find a wide variety of wildflowers and native grasses.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve

Taylor Mountain offers a scenic view of Santa Rosa, Sonoma Mountains, and Mount Tamalpais. It also has an 18-hole disc golf course, a visitor center, and a few creeks. The trails are well-marked and accessible to hikers.

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There are several different trail options to explore on Taylor Mountain. Hikers can take advantage of the 1.2 mile loop trail, which was blazed by the Sonoma County Trails Council. Another less strenuous option is the 0.5 mile Todd Creek Trail.

Another popular hiking trail is the 4.5 mile Western Trail. This hike will bring you to the top of Taylor Mountain, and offers sweeping views of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Mountains.

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the 3.2 mile Eastern Route is a good choice. The route has 1,100 feet of elevation gain. However, you will have to put in some work to reach the summit.

In addition to being a great exercise, the Red Tail Play Area will draw kids to the park. Designed to foster connection to the natural world, the play area includes an embankment slide, log climbing features, and an interactive red-tailed hawk’s nest.

With five miles of multi-use trails, Taylor Mountain has many benefits for the community. A Master Plan for the park calls for the creation of 18 more miles of multi-use trails, as well as additional trail work by 2023.

For a great outdoor experience in the midst of urban life, Taylor Mountain is a must-see. Hikers can also check out the disc golf course, which is a perfect way to burn off a few calories. Depending on how far you’re willing to go, the hike takes about 30 to 40 minutes from the parking lot.

Creekside Trail at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park

Located on the southern edge of Windsor, California, Shiloh Ranch Regional County Park is the perfect spot to explore the surrounding scenery. Featuring canyons, oak woodlands, and stream-fed canyons, the park offers a wide variety of habitats.

The park features a range of hiking trails. You can choose from a loop trail or a mellow singletrack.

There are several vantage points along the Ridge Trail to enjoy panoramic views of north central Sonoma County. Several types of trees can be seen along the way, including Coast Live Oaks and Madrones.

A loop hike can be completed by combining the Big Leaf and Ridge Trails. It can also be done with the Creekside Trail.

The best views can be found at the top of the 3.8-mile loop. For more of a challenge, try the Gunsight Rock trail. Although the Gunsight Rock trail takes a while to get to, it’s worth the effort.

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Those looking for an easy hike should take the Creekside Trail. This green singletrack winds through oak forests and small and large hills. At the end of the route, you’ll find a grassy valley floor.

Another option is to follow the Ridge Trail to the pond. You’ll pass through forests of mixed evergreens and oak woodlands, as well as a seasonal creek. Depending on the time of year, the views can be spectacular.

Whether you want to see native shrubs and flowers or are just a sucker for good photography, there are plenty of spots to stop and take pictures. Some of the trails are former ranch roads. These make for an excellent equestrian destination.

Other highlights include a drinking fountain and a flush restroom facility. Both facilities are gender neutral.

Gunsight Rock in Hood Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve

Gunsight Rock is one of the most popular hiking trails in Hood Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve. It’s a half-day hike with spectacular views of the Bay Area. There are three approaches to the overlook.

The hike starts off with an uphill climb and then a long descent. At the summit, you’ll find a large meadow with two small ponds. A rocky pinnacle juts out over the western side of the pond.

Next, you’ll pass a picnic spot and a leaning homestead cabin. From here, you’ll continue on the Lower Johnson Ridge Trail. This trail is a combination of an old paved road and a solid dirt trail. You’ll follow signs for this route and gain 2,000 feet in elevation before reaching your destination.

Hiking trails on Hood Mountain are often strenuous. Many of them cross creeks and meadows. They require a companion. Some trails are closed after dark.

If you’re planning to do a long hike on Hood Mountain, you’ll want to pack a lot of water. The hiking trails do not provide drinking water. However, there are two environmental campsites in the park. These are located about 2 miles from the parking lots.

There are also several trail connections to nearby Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The summit of Hood Mountain is the most popular hiking destination. But there are many other hiking destinations to enjoy.

For a more challenging trek, you can attempt the Sonoma Overlook Trail, which is about 2.5 miles round-trip. On a clear day, you’ll see beautiful vistas of the Napa Valley, the Coast Range, and the Bay.

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Alternatively, you can head to the Gunsight Rock Overlook for more panoramic views of the Bay Area. This vista point offers incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

Murcielago Sector

The northern part of Santa Elena Peninsula is the Murcielago Sector of Santa Rosa National Park. This area is ideal for exploring beaches and water sports. It offers a variety of fishing, diving and boating activities.

You can enjoy these activities from the park’s campground, which is open 24 hours. Alternatively, you can rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle and take a trip to Playa Blanca, the country’s most isolated beach.

Located in the northern part of the Santa Elena Peninsula, the Murcielago Sector is a biologically rich area. This part of the park contains several species of reef fish. Several bays, coves and islands can also be visited. A good part of the park is dry tropical forest.

Visitors can also visit La Casona, a historic mansion. There is also a museum and military equipment from the 1800s. If you are interested in wildlife, you can also visit the Dry Tropical Forest Investigation Center, which has an administrative center and a research facility.

The park is home to 115 mammal species. Some of the animals include spider monkeys, iguanas and deer. Bats, which are the primary inhabitants of the park, comprise more than half of the mammals in the park.

There are two sea turtle nesting beaches within the park. The best way to see them is by a guided tour. However, it is possible to snorkel and dive the Islas Murcielago. These islands are located in the extreme north of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

In addition to hiking, the park has an administrative center, ranger stations and restrooms. There are also camping sites, a biological station, and charcoal grills.

For further information, visitors can contact the Santa Rosa station.

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