Hiking in Sonoma Valley Regional Park
Seasonal wildflowers and evergreen vistas make this a locals’ favorite hike in Sonoma Valley Regional Park. Go soon to see popping lupine and buttercups on this scenic 2-mile (round-trip) route. And bring some wine and cheese—there’s a lovely picnic table about 0.4 mile in.
Start on the Cougar Trail, where you’ll ascend briefly through oak woodland before leveling off in an area that makes you feel transported to Italy. A gorgeous compound of dream homes sits to your right as you follow the singletrack to tiny Damselfly Pond and the lone picnic table perched at a perfect angle for taking in the setting.
Continue on Cougar Trail, wending up momentarily before leveling to saunter along a sublime trail flanked by oaks, with peek-a-boo views of the surrounding foothills. When you reach the intersection, turn right to follow Black Canyon Creek Trail.
You’ll briefly cross the paved Valley of the Moon Trail before getting onto Buttercup Trail. Aptly named, Buttercup is currently decked in buttercups. This section, an ascent, is a bit steep, but relatively brief. Follow it to turn left on Woodland Star Trail where you'll enjoy more flowers and views, including fields of lupine backed by Sonoma's foothills. Eventually you'll connect to East Sutton Lake Trail , which leads back to the parking lot.
GUIDED WILDFLOWER WALK BONUS: Enjoy a guided wildflower walk at Sonoma Valley Regional Park on April 2, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WINE BONUS: You're in wine country! Post-hike, and not far down the road from the park, Muscardini Cellars is a must-stop for tasting limited-edition Italian varietals (Sangiovese, Barbera, and tasty blends). There's a nice patio out front and a lovely picnic area in the back.
Sonoma Valley Regional Park opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at sunset. $7 per vehicle for day use. Park in the lot off Hwy. 12, south of Arnold Dr. Bring a map. Dog-friendly! NOTE: Rattlesnakes have recently been seen in this park (including by the Weekend Sherpa team who hiked this trail recently; be aware and keep your dogs leashed while hiking. Warm afternoons tend to bring them out onto trails more).
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