Sonoma County’s incredible landscape is not only home to rolling hills of vineyards, but also to breathtaking parks, trails, lakes and much more! Grab your picnic basket, hiking boots, or swimsuit and explore the county! Due to budget cuts, several Sonoma County State Parks were slated to closure including Sonoma County’s own Annadel State Park, Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Jack London State Park, Petaluma Adobe State Park, and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Some of the parks were saved by nonprofit organizations such as Team Sugarloaf and the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association and the others were saved when the governor signed a bill allocating more funds for the endangered parks. Support Sonoma County’s natural beauty and visit a state park this summer! Here are some suggestions:
Sonoma State Historic Park – Sonoma, CA
The Sonoma State Historic Park is a series of six historic destinations including Mission San Francisco Solano, the Blue Wing Inn, the Sonoma Barracks, the Toscano Hotel, the remains of La Casa Grande and General Vallejo’s Home (just half of a mile away). Visit the historical site or the Visitor Center for more information on tours, exhibits, and the incredible history! The park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except the Barracks and the Toscano Hotel are open Mondays).
Sonoma Plaza Park – Sonoma, CA
Featuring a statue commemorating the Bear Flag Revolt, Sonoma Plaza presides as the historic downtown plaza of Sonoma and is the largest in the state of California! Take in the beautiful scenery, delicious restaurants and unique shops while strolling around the plaza; and as the only park in Sonoma with an open container law, feel free to sit back, relax and sip an alcoholic beverage of your choice on the grass! Don’t miss the incredible farmer’s market, offered weekly on Tuesday evenings, where you’ll find the freshest fruits and vegetables, local flowers, live music and an assortment of food trucks! Visitors to the Plaza can also walk the Overlook Trail and experience a breathtaking view of Sonoma and the Plaza below.
Depot Park – Sonoma, CA
Just down the street from the historic Sonoma Plaza is the charming Depot Park! Bring your kids, have a barbeque, relax in the gazebo and visit the Train Museum! You can even pack your bocce ball set! The community is always celebrating and socializing in the beautiful Depot Park.
Sonoma Bike Path – Sonoma, CA
With one and a half miles of wine country landscape through the beautiful Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Bike Path is not to be missed! Whether you’re looking for a morning run or a family bike ride, this path has everything to offer including several quaint parks! Be sure to take a detour and visit the historical General Vallejo’s Home for a taste of old time Sonoma. If you don’t have bikes, be sure to look into renting bikes at one of the many companies around town including Wine Country Cyclery, Sonoma Valley Bike Tours and Goodtime Touring Company.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park – Kenwood, CA
Despite its quick and brief closing, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is officially open to the public thanks to the nonprofit organization, Team Sugarloaf! Spurred by an appreciative devoted group of nature enthusiasts, Team Sugarloaf makes it possible for visitors to witness the ridge’s incredible landscape. With hiking trails, campgrounds, vistas, waterfalls and more, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a day-use place to return to over an over again!
Spring Lake Park – Santa Rosa, CA
For an afternoon packed with activity, come visit Spring Lake Park! The park offers boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding and even a lagoon for swimming! Locals often use the perimeter of the lake for a morning workout! Trails lead all over the beautiful landscape and to the nearby Howarth Park! This is a piece of paradise in the middle of Sonoma County.
Annadel State Park – Santa Rosa, CA
Recognized for its bounty of wildflowers, Annadel State Park is the perfect nature getaway for someone looking to walk, hike, bike, horseback ride, or run! It is open from 8 a.m. to sunset and does not require an admission fee. Experience the purity and simplicity of nature at Annadel State Park!
Jack London State Park – Glen Ellen, CA
This incredible park was maintained as a memorial to the famed writer, Jack London. Visit the London’s cottage, their Beauty Ranch and several historic ruins. Jack London State Park was the first park in California to be taken over by a private organization after it was slated for closure by the state. The Valley of the Moon Natural History Association runs and maintains the park, which is currently open Thursday to Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and requires a park admission fee. Spend the afternoon hiking, walking, and imagining what the place looked like in 1916. Also, this summer, Transcendence Theatre Company will be bringing the arts back into Jack London State Park!
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve – Guerneville, CA
Step into a world among redwoods when you visit Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve! With a solace unlike any spa, Armstrong Reserve is perfect for relaxing, reflecting, or just plain looking around! It is open from 8 a.m. to one hour after sunset and does not require an admission fee. Standing among the tallest living things on Earth in the incomparable Sonoma County is an experience you won’t want to miss!
Doran Regional Park – Bodega Bay, CA
With two miles of castle-worthy sand, great picnic spots and a dog-friendly code, Doran Park is the beach to be at for your summer fun! Just off of Highway 1, it can accommodate campers, horseback riders, boaters and beach goers alike! Also, explore the sea life under the sun before roasting some s’mores and listening to the waves in the evening! Only $7 per vehicle for day use year-round.
Lake Sonoma – Healdsburg, CA
Lake Sonoma represents the rich history and geographical beauty of the county. It boasts 50 miles of shoreline and over 2,700 acres of land. Kayak across this gorgeous lake spanning from Dry Creek all the way to Warm Springs Creek! Enjoy swimming, fishing, crabbing, horseback riding, hiking, camping and hunting, all while surrounded by scenic vineyards and coastline!
Bouverie Wildflower Preserve – Glen Ellen, CA
Visiting this 535-acre property is an opportunity you won’t want to miss! Guided nature walks and seminars can lead you through the rolling hills of Sonoma Valley! Bring your hiking boots, hats and water and head out for an unforgettable day!
Riverfront Regional Park – Windsor, CA
In close proximity to the Russian River and Windsor, Riverfront Regional Park is the ideal spot to spend a hot summer day! With a half-mile trail over Redwood Hill, volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit and bass fishing access, this park has it all! And when it’s lunchtime, there are picnic tables and barbeques to accommodate visitors. It costs $7 per vehicle for day use. Check out this video about what Riverfront Regional Park can offer you.
Fort Ross State Historic Park – Jenner, CA
Established in 1812 by the Russians, Fort Ross State Historic Park is packed with hours of entertainment for the history buff! With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Fort Ross is open for tours on the weekends. The Chapel and the Rotchev House are two of the most iconic buildings on the fort and aren’t to be missed! After visiting the park, head into the quaint town of Jenner for some lunch and a great day in Sonoma County! $8 per vehicle per day use.
Check out some of our other favorites:
- Maxwell Farms Regional Park – Sonoma, CA – Soccer fields, playground, group picnic area and trails! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Bartholomew Park Winery – Sonoma, CA – Winery on site, a few blocks off the plaza and beautiful picnicking grounds! Click here for more information.
- Sonoma Valley Regional Park – Glen Ellen, CA – Trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Kenwood Plaza Park – Kenwood, CA – Picnic tables, rope play structure and plenty of turf to run on! Click here for more information.
- Ragle Ranch Regional Park – Sebastopol, CA – Sports fields, sand volleyball courts, reservable group picnic areas, dog park, tennis courts, playground, nature trails and restrooms available! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Crane Creek Regional Park – Sebastopol, CA – Picnic areas, restrooms and walking trails available! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Hood Mountain Regional Park – Santa Rosa, CA – 1,750 acres of wilderness and rugged trails to explore! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach – Healdsburg, CA – Picnic facilities, restrooms and swimming beach available! $7 per vehicle for day use. Click here for more information.
- Glen Ellen
- Santa Rosa
- Bodega Bay
- Black Point Access Trail (Sea Ranch)
- Forestville River Access (Forestville)
- Gualala Point Regional Park (Sea Ranch)
- Occidental Community Center (Occidental)
- Pebble Beach (Sea Ranch)
- Shell Beach (Sea Ranch)
- Soda Springs Reserve (Annapolis)
- Steelhead Beach (Forestville)
- Stengel Beach (Sea Ranch)
- Sunset Beach River Park (Forestville)
- West County and Joe Rodota Trail (Forestville)
- Foss Creek Pathway (Healdsburg)
- San Francisco Bay Trail (Petaluma River to Sonoma Marsh)
Still can’t find a park to suit your needs? Check out these other parks nearby that are absolutely worth visiting!