Take a Walk on the Local Side…

There are many ways to feed your soul and mind, and for many, it’s being in nature. There are so many reasons we are blessed to live and work in Sonoma County, just one of those reasons are the 53 Sonoma County Parks scattered throughout the region. In the weeks after the fires rampaged through our county it was difficult to anticipate what this beautiful area would look like. Looking up at the black hills that usually shine green and gold seemed like an ominous reminder of that terrifying experience we all shared.

Like so much of our county, the Sonoma County Parks were scarred and damaged during the fires. Sonoma Valley Regional Park was entirely burned, 93 percent of Shiloh Ranch Regional Park was burned, and more than 60 percent of Trione-Annadel State Park and Hood Mountain Regional Park were damaged by the flames.

But Mother Nature is amazing, isn’t she? Just three short months after the fires, our Sonoma County Parks are already looking better and brighter. Fire may be detrimental to a bustling city like ours, but fires can be a very important part of maintaining diverse and healthy ecosystems. Fires that spread through natural areas (like our Sonoma County Parks) help thin the forest canopy and cultivate growth on the forest floor. Fires also help reduce dead vegetation, stimulate new growth and improve habitat for wildlife. Some trees and plants require fire for seed germination, like manzanita and scrub oak – both of which are found in our Sonoma County Parks. Without fire, these trees would eventually die with no new generation to carry on their legacy.

So here we are, 10 days into a new year. The recovery efforts are well underway and we are all adjusting to our new normal. Now is the time to show some love to your soul and to our parks by getting outside and taking a hike, walk, or even just enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors. The current rain will bring the green, and the upcoming Spring should reveal new wildflower species. Now, more than ever, we should visit our local parks. Focus on the signs of renewed life. Get to know the new, but familiar, landscape. Breathe. Heal. Rest.

Ready to explore our Sonoma County Parks? Here’s a list of all 53 parks to give you inspiration. You can also see the whole list, and a map here.

Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail
Black Point Coastal Access Trail
Bluff Top Coastal Access Trail
Cloverdale River Park
Coastal Prairie Trail
Colgan Creek Trail
Crane Creek Regional Park
Del Rio Woods
Doran Regional Park
Ernie Smith Community Park
Foothill Regional Park
Forestville River Access
Gualala Point Regional Park
Guerneville River Park
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach
Helen Putnam Regional Park
Hood Mountain Regional Park
Huneman Slough Boat Launch
Hunter Creek Trail
Joe Rodota Trail
Kenwood Plaza Park
Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail
Larson Park
Maddux Ranch Regional Park
Maxwell Farms Regional Park
Moran Goodman Park
North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park
Occidental Community Center
Pebble Beach Coastal Access Trail
Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail
Ragle Ranch Regional Park
Riverfront Regional Park
Running Fence – Watson School
Santa Rosa Creek Trail
Shaw Park
Shell Beach Coastal Access Trail
Shiloh Ranch Regional Park
Shorttail Gulch Coastal Access Trail
Soda Springs Reserve
Sonoma Valley Regional Park
Spring Lake Regional Park
Spud Point Marina
Steelhead Beach Regional Park
Stengel Beach Coastal Access Trail
Stillwater Cove Regional Park
Sunset Beach River Park
Taylor Mountain Regional Park
Tolay Lake Regional Park
Tom Schopflin Fields
Walk On Beach Coastal Access Trail
West County Regional Trail
Westside Regional Park
Wohler Bridge

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