Looking for something to do outside any day of the week in Sonoma County? This post is for you! From the mountain tops through the vineyards and out to the coast, Sonoma County has some amazing places for outdoor enthusiasts! The Hubs and The Bosslady have hiked, biked, and sipped their way through Sonoma County trails, roads, and wineries (102 hikes and 492 miles in just Sonoma County!), for the past several years and have a few favorites to share!
When we first moved here we frequented all of the parks around us and then started venturing further out. Sonoma County definitely has the most diversity that we have been able to find!
Jack London State Historic Park
Jack London SHP is one of our favorite places to explore (excuse us if we say this a lot!) with 29 miles of trails, history and endless views from the mountain tops! Go for a short hike from the museum to the wolf house or explore further, totally up to you!
From the Summit of Jack London, you can see the entire Sonoma Valley! The 8.6 miles and 1,700 ft elevation gain is totally worth it! Half in shade and half in full sun, this hike will not disappoint! Looking for a longer hike at Jack London? How do 11 miles and 1,700 feet elevation gain sound? Head up to the Sonoma Ridge Trail and check out the views of San Pablo Bay! Looking for a through hike from Jack London to North Sonoma Mountain? Park a car at each end or wait for when the Sugar Shuttle runs their shuttle between the two parks and hike the 8.4 miles with 1,600 feet elevation gain to get 2 parks for the price of 1 hike!
Sugarloaf State Park
Sugarloaf has it all! A campground, an observatory, 25 miles of trails to the tops of the mountains, waterfalls, and vineyard views! Sugarloaf was hit hard with the 2017 fires and has been amazing to watch how mother nature has been healing! Hiking to the top of Bald Mountain at 2,729 feet above the valley with 360 views of both Sonoma AND Napa Valleys after the fires were both painful and hopeful. Prior to the fires, we were here all the time! The seasonal waterfall and Brushy Peaks is one of our favorite spots to go to this park! Next door to Sugarloaf is Hood Mountain Regional Park and guess what?! You can hike from one to the other! The Sugar Shuttle also runs between both of these parks or you can park a vehicle at either end. We usually hit Gunsight Rock in Hood Mountain Regional Park at least once a year. There are a few ways to reach it and we love all of them! Warning! It is a challenging hike!
Armstrong Woods State Park
Armstrong Woods was the very first hike we did when we moved to Sonoma County! We got lost and did 3 miles instead of 2…that was a big hike for us! The bosslady had back issues prior to moving here and walking around the block was tough but now…there’s not much holding her back from getting out there! If you go in the spring, you might just see a ton of newts covering the trails on the way down to Gilliam Creek! That was a brutal 9.5-mile hike with 1,700 feet elevation gain and 11 creek crossings! If you’re wanting a shorter hike with great views of the Austin Creek Wilderness, there’s a shorter version at just 5 miles and 1,100 feet elevation gain. In the fall it is gorgeous! Our favorite loop at Armstrong is the East Ridge Trail. You get to hit all the highlights of the park in about 6 miles and 1,100 feet elevation gain. Bonus to all of this?? The REDWOODS! They are spectacular! If you only have a couple of hours, go walk the 1.5-mile discovery trail on the floor of the park and enjoy the redwoods then go into Guerneville for ice cream or head over to Korbel for some sparkling wine! P.S. Korbel has a great free tour with loads of history!
Oh the coast! How we love thee! Pomo Canyon is one of the top-visited posts on this blog! It is also one of the few hikes that we tend to do over and over. From Shell Beach over the hills to the redwoods and views of the Russian River flowing into the ocean. It’s a perfect hike at any time of year! Pole Mountain and Jenner Headlands Preserve are one of the newest parks along the Sonoma Coast. There are short loops with gorgeous ocean views or a 15-mile round trip hike to Pole Mountain. It’s an amazing park and definitely worth checking out especially in the spring when the wildflowers are going crazy! Looking for a short 3.5-mile hike exploring redwoods with a beach picnic spot at the end? Check out Stillwater Cove! OR head a little further north to the top of the Sonoma Coast to Gerstle Cove and do experience some of the best tide pooling in Sonoma County!
Are you tired now? Ready for some wine?
Hike AND Wine!
Sonoma County has so many wineries tucked away in the hills and tasting rooms lining the backcountry roads that you can hike then enjoy some truly delicious wine after! We have a couple of favorites to share that are more of an experience. Kunde Winery offers a hike WITH wine tasting on their beautiful property of rolling hills covered in vineyards that can be seen from Highway 12 in Sonoma Valley. A little hike, a little wine! Tasting zinfandel in a zinfandel vineyard with views of the valley while learning the history of the land…yes please! It has been one of our favorite wineries to experience in Sonoma! Benziger Winery has an amazing biodynamic tram tour that takes you around in a tram pulled by a tractor through their gardens, vineyards, and crush pad with a walking detour through their caves. After taking your short hike through Jack London State Park stop at Benziger for a Hike Then Wine experience! Looking for more of a hike on dirt trails through oak and bay forest with a redwood grove and views of Sonoma? Head on over to Bartholomew Park, just off the Sonoma Plaza, and explore the 3 miles of hiking trails, expansive picnic areas to cool off in, and a museum. Then taste delicious young wines in the newly renovated Bartholomew Estate Winery! P.S. we also went to the Sonoma Plaza after for some ice cream! Perfect Sonoma day!
Whatever you are looking for, Sonoma County definitely has it all! Leave a comment below of your favorite Sonoma County place! We’d love to hear!
Things We Love:
Can’t forget the things we love! Sonoma County Regional Parks!! We’ve been volunteering with them for several years now and are very proud to wear our green Sonoma County Parks hats! Love everything the rangers do every day to keep our parks open, clean, and safe! Also, a shout out to Sonoma Land Trust! We wouldn’t have the open space we have without their efforts! Proud to also volunteer with them and be a part of this amazing community!