Key Birds of Sugarloaf Hike

May 22, 2022

Join author and Sugarloaf docent Dana Glei in 2-mile hike (250 ft elevation change) highlighting a few key bird species commonly seen and heard at Sugarloaf. We will talk about how to identify them by sight, sound, flight pattern, and/or behavior. We’ll also talk about their nesting patterns because they are likely to still be raising this year’s brood. Meet at the White Barn. We’ll start off along sunny Meadow Trail (85% sun exposure) and return along the shadier Hillside Trail.
Bring water, sun protection, and if you’d like, a snack and a plant identification guide. If you use iNaturalist or would like to learn how to use it, make sure it’s already installed on your phone before you arrive for the hike.
Parking fees apply.

Native Trees & Shrubs Hike


Join author and Sugarloaf docent Dana Glei in 2-mile hike (250 ft elevation change) highlighting key species of trees and shrubs that are associated with oak woodlands, chaparral and riparian plant communities. Meet at the White Barn. We’ll start off along sunny Meadow Trail (85% sun exposure) and return along the shadier Hillside Trail.
Bring water, sun protection, and if you’d like, a snack and a plant identification guide. If you use iNaturalist or would like to learn how to use it, make sure it’s already installed on your phone before you arrive for the hike.
Parking fees apply.

Summer Wildflower Hike

May 20, 2022

Photo by Phil Weil

Lupines, poppies, irises…we are acquainted with the spring wildflowers, but are you familiar with summer wildflowers? Join wildflower poet and Sugarloaf docent on a summer wildflower hike. Starting from the main parking lot, we’ll traverse Lower Bald Mountain Trail past the Observatory to the Sonoma Creek crossing on Meadow Trail. Depending on group interest and capability, our hike either continues on Hillside Trail back to the main lot or backtracks on Meadow for anything else we might have missed.
Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members or volunteers, and free for under 12. Bring water, sun protection, comfortable shoes, and if you have them, a wildflower guide or camera.
Parking fees apply.

ParkRx – Intermediate Hiking for Fitness Series

May 14, 2022

If you have previously completed the Beginner Hiking for Fitness Program, or can hike at least three miles with some elevation gain, this series is for you.
Join us for an 8-week Intermediate Hiking for Fitness Series. The program leaders will guide you on a series of weekly hikes with the challenge increasing each week. Leaders will have group discussions about gear, hydration, hiking poles, first aid and pacing, etc. The group’s final hike aims for Bald Mountain, where hikers can enjoy stunning vistas.

The hiking series costs $80, or free-of-cost for hikers with an April 2022 or newer ParkRx from a participating Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for ParkRx info. To sign up with a ParkRx, please email alma@sonomaecologycenter.org Please have your ParkRx available at the time of sign-up, as the number of ParkRx tickets is limited and you will be asked for a copy.

Hike Schedule
1) Sat 7/9 – Waterfall Loop, 2 miles, 595ft elevation [meet @ main lot]
2) Sat 7/16 – Vista Trail Loop, 3.6 miles, 700ft elevation[meet @ white barn lot]
3) Sat 7/23 – Goodspeed to Nattkemper bench, 4.2 miles, 1060ft elevation [meet @ Goodspeed lot]
4) Sat 7/30 – Hillside / Brushy Peaks – Neptune picnic table, 4.6 miles, 780ft elevation [meet @ white barn lot]
5) Sat 8/6 – Vista Trail Loop (counter-clowise), 4.7 miles, 1000ft elevation [meet @ white barn lot]
6) Sat 8/13 – Jack London Fern Lake and May’s Clearning, 5.5 miles, 1264ft elevation gain [meet at Sonoma Creek bridge on Arnold Dr.]
7) Sat 8/20 – Bald Summit (w/ optional Headwaters wiggle = 5.8 mi), 5.25 miles, 1500ft elevation [meet @ white barn lot]
8) Sat 8/27 – Goodspeed to Gunsight Rock, 7.5miles, 1900ft elevation gain [meet @ Goodspeed lot]
(routes subject to change based on group and weather)

Wear appropriate footwear for muddy or slippery trails and layers, as the group hikes in light rains. Bring water, and if desired, a snack. The group will be limited to 30 participants. County Health guidelines will be applicable.

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Hiking for Fitness: Group Fitness Hike

May 6, 2022

Join our Hiking for Fitness “graduates” on this free, intermediate-level group fitness hike. RSVP is not required.
For a complete schedule–including routes, mileage and elevation gain–visit the Hiking for Fitness page and click on the “Maintenance Hikes – 2022” tab.

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Creekside Nature Hike

April 22, 2022


Join us for a 1.4-mile nature hike along the Sonoma Creek. On the hike your leader will teach you about the plants, animals, and aquatic life of Sonoma Creek. The hike starts outside the Visitor Center. Free. Registration is not required. Parking charges apply.

Butterflies, Dragonflies & Summer Flowers


After the year’s rain, it’s butterfly and dragonfly season. Join Naturalist, John Lynch, on this 5-mile guided nature hike, with approximately 800 feet of elevation gain. We’ll be looking up rather than down to discover what’s flying around, learning a little about creek, pond and meadow habitats. Our route will explore the Sonoma Creek ecosystem along the Creekside trail then up the Lower Bald Mountain Trail to look for some summer wildflowers and over to the Vista Trail to a small pond/marsh with return via Meadow Trail.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $7.5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members and volunteers, and free for under 12. Meet at the White Barn parking area. Bring water, sun protection, and if you have them, butterfly and wildflower guides.

Rain cancels. Parking fees apply.

Family Hike


Come to the park for a peaceful hike through the woods! Join our Docents on this fun family hike that is good for all ages. During this 2-mile hike with 400-ft elevation gain, you will learn about Sugarloaf Park, its plants, animals, and history.
Free event. Meet outside the Visitor Center.

Registration is not required.

Parking fees apply, heavy rains cancel.

Full Moon Hike


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Bring a flashlight and your sense of wonder as you explore the park after dark. This hike begins at the White Barn and heads up to the viewpoint on Vista Trail or to Bald Mountain, where we will see the moon rise over the Mayacamas and the sun set over Sonoma Valley.

The Bald Mountain route is a strenuous 6.5 miles with 1500+ of vertical and some steep sections (not recommended for under 12). It leaves the White Barn parking lot at 6pm. This particular route will have the privilege of observing the moon through telescopes set up by RFO docents.

The Vista Trail route is a moderate-to-strenuous, 4-mile hike with 700ft of elevation and begins at 7pm. Not recommended for children under 8.

Tickets are $10 general, and $5 for students, youths (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members and Sugarloaf volunteers. Be at the meeting location at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the hike for a prompt departure. Bring water, snacks, and extra layers for the evening. Parking fees apply.

 

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Wildflower Vistas- CNC Weekend at Sugarloaf


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Sugarloaf Ridge State Park needs our help to catalog the thousands of plants, animals, and fungi that can be seen in the park. Join Sugarloaf docents on a moderate-to-strenuous wildflower hike on Vista Trail at golden hour, where we will learn about the iNaturalist app and use it to record our findings. 

Participants of any level of experience or mobility can help find, photograph, and/or identify life in the park. Smartphones with the iNaturalist app will be our main tool, but those lacking phones are also welcome to participate. If you haven’t used iNaturalist, or haven’t made an observation for a while, this is your chance – just make sure to load the iNaturalist app on your phone before you arrive. 

Tickets are $5. Meet at the White Barn. Bring plenty of water, a full battery on your mobile device (or alternatively, a camera), layers, something to kneel on, and a flashlight. Parking fees apply and rain cancels the event. 

City Nature Challenge runs from April 29th to May 2nd, 2022. It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people. Learn more about City Nature Challenge or view the SF Bay Area project here.

This event is part of the Challenge along with other events scheduled from 4/29-5/2.

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