Whether you’re a visitor to or a resident of Sonoma County, a hike with Sonoma Land Trust is a treat you’ll always remember – that is, if you love the outdoors, enjoy an invigorating walk, and want to explore some of the county’s most pristine and beautiful terrain with people who will explain the history and ecology of the land.
Sonoma Land Trust offers public and member outings as a way to connect people with the land. These hikes always take place at one of the Trust’s preserves and other protected sites, many of which are not ordinarily open to the public.
The Trust protects more than 25,000 acres of environmentally significant land in (and adjacent to) Sonoma County: Jenner Headlands, Sonoma Baylands, the Estero Americano Preserve, Little Black Mountain, and many more locations.
You’ll need to register for hikes online (see below). These hikes are free, but any donation you choose to make helps support the Trust’s protected lands. Here’s what Sonoma Land Trust has lined up for February 2013:
- Feb. 10 (Sunday), 10 a.m.-1 p.m., San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival Raptor Walk at Sears Point Ranch. On the 17th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, you’ll hike the hilly grasslands with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick. Hikers will search for resident and over-wintering raptors while learning how to identify the different raptor species. If the day is clear, you’ll enjoy panoramic views over San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, and Mt. Tam. Bring your binoculars! (You’ll encounter steep inclines on this trail.)
- Feb. 17 (Sunday), 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Raptor Walk at Tolay Creek Ranch: Tolay Creek Ranch is home to a resident golden eagle, as well as several other raptor species. On this hike you’ll accompany Larry Broderick in the riparian zone and atop the hills for a glimpse at bird species the different habitat types support. The 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch preserve links a habitat corridor that extends from the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, and is soon to be incorporated into the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park. (You’ll encounter steep inclines on this trail.)
- Feb. 23 (Saturday), 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Explore Manzanitas!: Each February at Sonoma Valley’s historic Glen Oaks Ranch, prolific Manzanita blooms color the air. Join assistant project manager Kara Caselas for a walk on hillside trails, where you’ll delight in the sights and scents of the Manzanita flowers. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the flowers and get to explore the well-developed trails so lovingly cared for by the Glen Oaks Ranch trail crew. (Trail includes some inclines.)
Here’s what you need to know:
- The public Sonoma Land Trust outings discussed above are free, but require registration. To register, visit sonomalandtrust.org/join_in/public_outings.html.
- Learn more about or become a member of Sonoma Land Trust at sonomalandtrust.org. Members have access to many more hikes and events.